Goodbye Mile End

Like so many other Montrealers, I will be moving for July 1!

I’ve been at my current place in the Mile End for over a year and a half. I’ve had a great time here but it’s time to move on. It’s a busy space, and it’s hard for me to maintain a consistent schedule and adequate personal space while being here. Those are things I need at this point in my life considering the amount of work I need to put into my various personal projects. Still, it’s a beautiful place filled with great people and I’m sure I’ll be back to visit.

My new place (which I will share with two room-mates) is near Laurier park on a calm residential street. It has a front yard, back yard, and a shed that I am excited to fill with my junk. I get a nice double room with a closet. It’s a bit more expensive, but I’ve been making more money recently so I think I can afford it.

So much of what I find is due to people moving. They have too much and can’t deal with it so they just put it to the curb. I’m sure I have a few things I’ll toss (including a pair of pants that I think have served their duty) but I won’t be wasting much, at least by 21st century standards.

However, I definitely want to bring as little with me as possible. Here’s a few things I hope to sell before I go. I’ll give good deals, especially to local buyers (who won’t have to pay shipping). Let me know if you’re interested! You can email me at or message me through Facebook, eBay, or Etsy.


1. Chalkware crucifix (circa 1930). I found this in Verdun last year. It’s a great example of early 1900s Catholic art. It’s also somewhat terrifying. It has a few knicks but is in very good condition considering its age. I haven’t been particularly proactive in trying to sell it, which is partly why it’s still around. I’d like to get 20$ for it, but would definitely consider other offers as moving day approaches. However, I only want to sell this locally because of its fragile nature and size (nearly 2′ tall!).


2. Aynsley and Paragon tea cups. I found a few boxes full of these in Ville St Laurent last October. Most of these are long gone but some remain. If you’re interested make me an offer on one or all. The only price I’m particularly firm on here is the black Paragon one, which is my personal favourite. Not listed on eBay is the little Paragon demi-tasse at front left, which I’d be happy to get 5$ for.

3. 42 piece Myott China dish set. I found this with the boxes of teacups. I put it on Craigslist for 150$ but no one’s come to buy it yet. Consult the listing for more photos and condition details. It’s in nice condition overall. I would be very happy not to have to move it. Make me an offer! Again, I only want to sell this locally because of the hassle and cost involved it shipping it out.


4. Old law books. These also came from Ville St Laurent. I currently have these listed on eBay for 55$ each (including free shipping) but they haven’t received much interest. Make me an offer if you’d like to add them to your collection. They’re thick and heavy so unfortunately shipping will be somewhat expensive.

5. Anything I currently have listed on eBay and Etsy! Some of my prices are firm but many I’d be happy take a “best offer” for. Send me an email and maybe we can work something out.



Garbage picking is often a lot cleaner than you’d expect. The good bags usually contain a collection of non-gross things from around the house, and most of the nasty stuff – kitchen waste, diapers, Kleenexes, cat litter and so on – is packed together. It makes sense, because if you’re cleaning out your closet, garage, or basement you’re unlikely to go out of your way to put some vegetable scraps in there.

Still, it’s inevitable that you’re going to get your hands a bit grimy at some point. Monday night’s run was a good example of that; it seemed like I was getting my dirtier at every stop. The interior of this NDG garbage bag was coated with what smelled like stale Kraft Dinner powder. I had saved a few decent interesting things from nearby bags though, and that mild success gave me the will to overcome the unpleasant smell and texture.

(For the record: I love KD. I just don’t like coating my hands and finds with the powder).


Inside was a little (maybe 6″ long) drawing by a local artist by the name of Louise Lachance Legault. It’s not super valuable but it’s very nice. I left the Kraft Dinner powder on for this “real” shot, but it was pretty easy to clean off.


Also inside the bag was a Roots watch (curiously, the hands don’t seem to move but the display lights up fine; maybe there are two separate batteries) …


… and a “designer toothbrush” made by a guy named Alan Stuart. It’s still in its original packaging. Inside the handle are two small rubber duckies floating in some sparkly yellowish fluid.


I found this British Trampoline Association patch in a different bag at the same pile. There was no KD powder to be seen this time around. The patch is likely fairly old – it’s made the same way as some WWII patches I’ve found. The guy on the patch looks like he’s going to do a face plant.

Three other bags were full of old VHS tapes. I’ll likely check this place again next time garbage day rolls around.


This isn’t particularly nasty, but I did find another laptop inside a recycling bin in Hampstead. It doesn’t seem to work, but it might still be good for parts and definitely should not be in with the recycling.


My spot in Cote-des-Neiges produced the night’s best finds. I think they were cleaning out the basement this time around because most everything here was mildewy. My hands felt powdery and gross after sorting through it all. Still, it was worth a detailed look because the people doing the tossing clearly aren’t paying much attention to what they’re getting rid of.


I actually met the people as they left the house. I was looking at these two old figures (which were in the box with the cloth on top at the far left of the picture) when they came out the door. They asked me if I wanted them (which I did), after which they left and drove off.

These are pretty cool but I’m not sure exactly what they’re meant to be. At 2′ tall they’re a bit too big to be bookends. They seem to be chalkware, which would probably make them quite old. You can see that they’ve been attacked by mildew but I think it should be pretty easy to clean off.


This canvas bag was underneath a couple of mildewy boxes. The bag was quite mildewy as well. It contained several very light wooden pieces.


When added together they formed this little table (roughly 3′ tall). It has an Art Nouveau look to it, which would make it around 100 years old, give or take. There are a few pieces broken off – most notably one of the child’s arms – but it seems that I have most or all of them.


A tag on the bottom indicates that it was made in Italy. By who, I have no idea.


This piece was also inside the bag but I’m not sure where it fits.

I think the table could be easily restored to look pretty nice. If it’s worth my time I might try to do it myself. Does anyone know what this piece of furniture might be worth in good condition?


One box held a bunch of books. The ones at the top were mostly ruined, while the ones at the bottom were in decent condition. I snapped this photo after looking through them a bit, they were more organized beforehand.


I saved only one book. It’s a translated version of one of HG Wells‘ history books. The plastic cover protected it from most dampness-related damage.


An old pair of Majestic binoculars rested at the very bottom of the box. They seem to have escaped the mildew entirely. They look to be new, and came in their original cardboard box and leather case. They’re not worth much but make for good yard sale material.


Another box contained some records. These were slightly mildewy, but were largely protected by the original shrink wrap that their previous owner left on. Most of the records were oldies, Pat Boone and Doris Day being two artists that come to mind.


There were a few 45 records in the collection, including a version of the Expo 67 theme song by Michele Richard and a 1980s promo song made for the Montreal Canadiens. The latter was sponsored by Coca-Cola and Provigo, a local grocery chain. They’re worth around 10$ each.


I found this tiny (maybe 3″ wide) brass frame amongst the records. It’s marked Majestic on the bottom. Maybe it was made by the same company that made the binoculars?


My best find though likely came from this moldy old trunk. Inside was a bunch of old clothes and some Christmas decorations, none of which were in good enough condition to be worth bothering with. However, because of the pedigree of the spot I decided to do a thorough investigation of the contents. I spotted something unusual while sifting through the damaged contents (and trying not to breath in the stale air).


It was a tarnished silver compact. There is black enamel at the top and bottom.


The mirror is intact but very worn from age. It would probably be easy enough to replace.


I tore out the powder puff in an attempt to find some kind of marking.


It’s stamped “sterling” and “935”. The 935 mark means that it’s 93.5% silver, and likely from Austria, Germany or Switzerland – the only countries that have used that particular silver standard. It reminds me a lot of the locket I found this January in the Plateau, which was also enameled 935 silver (and later sold for 200$!).

I didn’t find any exactly the same on eBay, but I definitely think that I can make some decent money here. A similar compact, which has the same 935 silver case but a different design (and a missing mirror) sold for over 400$. If I can sell mine for a similar amount I’d be very happy!

Possessing a strong stomach for sorting through nastiness is definitely a necessary skill in this line of work. I don’t mind getting my hands dirty, but I still hope that the rest of week is a bit cleaner!

Recent sales (May 25 – June 7)


1. Christian Dior J’adore (used): On eBay for 30$. It didn’t take long to find a buyer for this! Found in Westmount almost a month ago.


2. Christian Dior Hypnotic Poison (used): On eBay for 50$. Found that same day in Westmount. A couple years ago I would have looked at you pretty funny if you told me that I’d be making decent money selling used perfumes on eBay.

3. Shaving mug and two vintage razors: On eBay for 30$. I’m glad to see this stuff go. I recently added the “best offer” option to help move them out the door. I’ve already received positive feedback. Found mid September in St Henri.


4. Grand Etteilla Egyptian tarot deck: On eBay for 90$. Found in the Plateau last summer, but not mentioned in the blog.

5. Coco Chanel, Guerlain Shalimar perfumes: To a reader for 50$. Found a couple weeks ago in Westmount.


6. Non-working U2 Special Edition iPod: On eBay for 45$. This didn’t take long to sell! Found a month ago in Mount Royal.


7. Cloisonne urn: On eBay for 115$. Found last October in Mount Royal.

8. Unopened pack of 5.25″ floppy disks: On eBay for 22$. I wonder why this person wants these disks… are they for a collection or for use? Found in Mount Royal over a year ago.


9. Five hockey cards from the late 60s: On eBay for 55$. I found them last year in Ville St Laurent but never got around to mentioning them on the blog.

10. Yard sale: 21$. The sale was doomed from the start because I misplaced the key to my storage. However, I was able to sell a few things I happened to have in the car. The foot traffic wasn’t as good as usual either way, likely due to the nearby F1 festival and street fair. A few readers came out, which was nice.

Total: 508$, 9048$ since the new year began. Not a bad figure. Averaging 250$ a week isn’t exciting at this point, but it pays the bills.

New listings

I’ve been pretty productive these past two weeks getting new things up on eBay. The most notable of this batch might be the art deco Asprey catalogue, which I listed for over 2000$. I won’t be surprised if I have to lower that price, but in this business it’s better to aim high than guess low.

1. 14k gold Bechtel pin
2. 1913 Ottawa Champions Canadian League Baseball Photo Postcard
3. Michael Kors "Michael", 70% full
4. Vintage NIB Lacoste Eau de Toilette
5. Vintage NIB Lacoste Original After Shave
6. Guerlain Les Meteorites Powder for the Face, 1982
7. Boss DB-12 Dr. Beat Digital Metronome
8. Vintage Order of the Ahepa secret ritual book
9. 80gb Zune for parts / repair
10. Chanel tortoiseshell sunglasses
11. SAFCO Mercury TN102 low speed Handpiece
12. Metzler Zeiss Umbramatic sunglasses
13. Rare 1930s / Art Deco Asprey Mail Order Catalogue
14. Ipod Nano (Kijiji)