Dominion No. 12


I returned to TMR last week and avoided getting another ticket. I was paranoid for most of the run though, which wasn’t too fun. I stopped at this place, which provided the picture frame from a couple posts back, but the bags were kind of torn up. I didn’t look long because I didn’t want to get blamed for causing the mess, which would result in a different kind of fine. It seemed to mostly be junk anyways. I imagine the bags were ripped apart by a raccoon.


I didn’t find much that night, but I was able to make a bit of money off this big 50″ Panasonic Plasma TV. I brought it home and tried turning it on. It didn’t work, which wasn’t really a surprise. However, the problem was with the circuitry, not the screen itself (which is the most valuable part). I listed it on Kijiji and ended up selling it within two days for 60$. Not bad! I’ve passed up on TVs before (largely because they take up so much space, and I had less room to work with at my old place) but I may take them going forward. At the very least I can flip them to guys like this for a quick profit.


I came across this spot with some interesting junk outside on Thursday night in Montreal West.


One bag held a bunch of clay masks, which I presume were bought during trips to Central America.


They look extra creepy when photographed in this light!


There were also a bunch of fantasy (mostly dragon) figurines. Many were busted, but a few were salvageable.


I gave this sweet stained glass dragon lamp to my sister. It fits her decor nicely! There are a few cracks to the yellow part of the stained glass, but it’s not at all noticeable.


I also saved this cool dragon figurine. It was made by Melody Pena of Windstone back in 1986. These are fairly collectible. In fact, mine just sold as I was writing this post for 75$!


I’ve also been keeping an eye on this stately home not far from downtown. The place is huge and was likely built in the 1920s. Whoever owns it now is tossing out some interesting stuff. There were bags and bags of magazines, including stacks of House Beautiful and Town & Country, most of which were published between 1950 and 1970.


I saved a box of Birks teas which I’d guess were made in the 1950s. The teas aren’t good anymore, but the boxes are attractive.


I also saved a couple nice jars …


… two cool vintage maps;


… a photography magazine featuring British women in various degrees of undress (this may sell for a decent amount on eBay);


… some unused vintage ink;


… a box of shells in an old Oglivy’s box;


… and a cool sterling silver cigarette holder.


It’s marked as being made in Germany. I should be able to make a shiny penny from it on eBay!


I made a couple of odd finds in front of this house as well. I pulled this box of bullets of out a black bag. The bullets are quite old, probably having been made in the 40s or 50s. I was a bit scared of them, not being an expert on how well munitions age (and knowing that old, though admittedly much larger shells have killed people in the past). However, putting them back in the bag for the trash collectors to crush didn’t seem like a good idea either. I thought it over and figured they were probably safe enough to take, though I drove home gingerly (and made sure to have them point away from me) just in case.



This old leather coat was also interesting. It’s in very rough shape (very stiff, dirty, and has a few rips) but I took it because it seemed somehow special. Specifically, I wondered if it had First Nations roots. A lot of Native Canadian history has been lost, largely due to the cultural genocide that occurred here over many generations, so I figured the coat was worth taking just in case it had some historical value.

I posted the coat to Reddit’s “What is this thing?” message board on the off chance someone knew something about it. To my surprise, someone (who is trained as a “Native American art curator of objects”, according to their other comments) chimed in. They said: “Aw, this is lovely! It’s a circa 1930s deerskin jacket in the style of an early 19th century hunting frock coat. It’s likely Cree or Cree-Metis – it’s embellished in a manner that has its roots in Santee Dakota style quillwork, but uses the silk floss embroidery that was being taught to Native women in southern Canada on the east coast and in the Prairie by French Catholic nuns as a kind of mission civilacitrice.”

This person seems to have legit knowledge of the coat. Unfortunately they didn’t reply to my last comment asking if it still had historical or monetary value given its condition, and if so who or what organization might have interest. I’m pretty busy right now trying to get some publications ready for Expozine this weekend (come by in you’re in Montreal!) but maybe I can research it more when that’s all done. In the meantime, if anyone has any information about the coat let us know in the comments! A few more close up shots are below.


Otherwise, I saved a large vintage VW bug toy made by Tonka (NDG);


… a half bottle of Chanel #5, which I sold to a reader for 15$ (Hampstead);


… some nice original art (Ville St-Laurent);


… a working vacuum cleaner (Hampstead);


… and a vintage Peugeot bike. I found it in Ville St Laurent on one of their heavy garbage days. It looked like it had been sitting unused in the basement or garage for many years. It had two flat tires and an ugly seat but otherwise seemed fine. I figured it needed new tires and inner tubes, but they actually still hold air after all these years. The bike would actually be pretty decent for trash picking: the diagonal women’s frame makes it easier to mount and dismount (something you do often while picking) and it already has a nice rear basket holder. I’m going to give it a try, and if I like it I’ll keep it for myself!

Recent sales (October 12 – October 25)

Before I start I’d like to thank everyone who donated towards the payment of that ticket I got last week! I’ve received 115$ so far, which is a little over half of the total value (220$) of the fine. These funds have definitely helped take a bit of the sting from that unexpected expense.

My improved sales have also made life a little more comfortable. I had an awful month of September, pulling in only 644$. In the four weeks since I’ve made 2181.50$ – over three times as much. September is generally a poor month for online sales, but my increased profits are largely due to a renewed focus on getting my stuff listed.

On a side note, I’ve been using Kijiji a lot more recently. I like it for big or awkward items that are a pain to ship, and for items with a general or local appeal. I sold my most valuable item this week using Kijiji; I also had it listed on eBay, but it sold locally first.

Without further ado, here’s my most recent sales!


1. Collection of foreign coins: On Kijiji for 30$. I gathered these from places all across the city. I keep the Euros and British Pounds (these can be exchanged at a good rate) and put the rest in a coin bank. Once the collection grows large enough (in this case, there were between two and three hundred coins) I put them on Kijiji. Just another way to make a buck … or thirty!


2. Photo rights: To a local newspaper for 60$. Here’s another interesting source of income. I posted a scan of this great Montreal photo to a Montreal history focused Facebook page. People were pretty pumped, and some even managed to figure out where the house is today. (I walked the whole street trying to find it, but didn’t see a similar enough house and presumed it demolished. In my defense, it seems to have lost all its ornaments).

A few days later a journalist contacted me about an article she wanted to do. Her paper does a local history segment every Sunday, and she thought this shot would be a cool thing to focus on. I was paid 60$ for the rights to use the photo, and I get to keep the physical copy and any future rights that may come into play.

The photo was likely taken between 1910 and 1920. The present day address is 8112 / 8114 Henri-Julien in the neighbourhood of Villeray. Found April 2014 in Mount Royal.


3. Expo 67 theme song: On eBay for 30$. Found June 2015 in Cote-des-Neiges.

4. Eau Sauvage by Christian Dior: On eBay for 37$.


5. Grundig radio: On Kijiji for 30$. The picture I took apparently made this radio look nicer than it actually was. Two people came by and expressed disappointment about the its condition. The second guy offered me less than half that I was asking. I made the deal though, because at that point it was clear the radio was worth less than I was asking. Still, I’m happy to get the 30$! Found late August in Montreal West.


6. Collection of bridge tokens: To a reader for 25$. There were over 30 in all, salvaged from two different places. About half came from a smelly spot in Rosemont.


7. Original Yousuf Karsh photograph featuring Colonel Garnet Strong: On eBay for 235$. This was one of many fantastic paper finds I found in a recycling bin last August. Unfortunately, it never made the blog because I was extremely busy with a temp job at the time. The photo was cool both because it was done by Karsh (known for his famous portraits of Churchill, Hemingway, Martin Luther King, JFK, Pierre Trudeau, Marilyn Monroe, Pablo Picasso, Audrey Hepburn, Albert Einstein, and many others) but also because it was a WWII-era shot of a Canadian military officer.


I first had it listed just as a photo, but a friend of mine offered to frame it for me at no charge. I’ll be sure to give him a cut of the profit, as the frame definitely increased the photo’s value. I kind of wish I could have kept it, but it’s hard to turn down that kind of money. Found August 2014 in Mount Royal.


8. Collection of Post cereal hockey shooters: On eBay for 149$. Found around a month ago in Mount Royal.

9. Yard sale: 151$. This may have been the last one of the season, though if there’s a nice sunny weekend day coming up I may do one more in front of my storage space. I like doing yard sales, but after a summer full of them I’m looking forward to taking a break!


10. 1951 Centennial Model Singer 221-1 Featherweight Sewing Machine: On Kijiji for 450$. I’m pumped to see this go! It’s my biggest sale in quite some time. In fact, I think it’s the most valuable thing I’ve ever sold on Kijiji. The sewing machine was beautiful and in terrific condition. The model was of particular value to quilters due to its light weight. It ended up going to a local fashion design student. Found with a tonne of other great stuff May 2015 in Côte-des-Neiges.

Total: 1197$, 16438.25$ since the new year began.

Ticketed! pt. 2


There was lots of great feedback to my last post! Readers were (as you’d expect) pretty annoyed that I got a ticket, and offered many valuable ideas and solutions to the issue.

I’ve been considering my options the last few days and have decided to pay the ticket. I have a lot of work to do already, and don’t want to add a court challenge (big or small) to my to-do pile. I also feel that it’s likely in my best interest to keep my trash picking activities as low-key as possible for the time being. Increased attention could have some negative consequences, including an increased focus by local security to track me down.

I like the idea of bringing this to the media, but again I’ve got lots of work to do and would prefer to avoid the limelight. Perhaps I’ll go about making a bigger fuss if / when my trash picking becomes a part-time thing again. For now, I want to continue to focus on blogging, picking, and selling (holiday season is coming up!), while also putting work into side projects like making a zine for this years Expozine.

Many readers have graciously offered to contribute to the payment of this fine. Any help would of course be greatly appreciated! Those interested can use the donate widget on my “Support the Blog / Donate” page. The button is powered by PayPal but it also allows you to donate using a credit card. Otherwise, those who don’t like doing this kind of thing via the internet can also mail a cheque via snail-mail. Just email me at and I can send you my mailing address.

As for my plans going forward, I intend on continuing my weekly TMR trash run. I’ll just be extra careful to avoid the security guys. There’s just so much good stuff and great history to be saved, and I’ve managed to avoid security much more often than not. I’m actually going to head there tonight… hopefully everything goes according to plan!