Parker VP

I told myself that Sunday would be a day of rest. My only plan was to watch football. However, I ended up spending much of the afternoon watching football, while also organizing and testing my large collection of vintage Christmas lights.

I’m sure some people find that kind of job meditative, but not me. Let’s just say I took no pleasure whatsoever in testing the many bulbs, trying to figure out if the bulb was the issue or the socket, all the while wondering if it was even worth the effort. I spent about four hours on this task, and by the end I developed a loathing for Christmas.

Fortunately, it’s only October, and I did end up getting this stuff organized and listed. The best of the bunch are the strings above which comes in beautiful decorative boxes. I listed them as an eBay auction starting at 30$ – here’s the link if you’re interested. I hope they’re worth that much, otherwise they won’t really be worth the time I spent organizing them, but you live you learn. Unfortunately the shipping will be expensive, but if you’re local you can skip out on the shipping fees by coming to pick them up.

I went out for a walk after finishing with these decorations and happened upon a very nice pile of rich people stuff. When I stopped there I had no bags, and when I left I had five (more, if you count the bags inside the bags). Anyways, that post will have to wait for another day. I also found some quality junk in St Michel.

Today though I’ll showcase a spot I’ve been visiting in Villeray. I’ve gone there every garbage day for the last month or so, and while that first day was the best so far, I still visit and find the occasional thing. I’m lucky to have even come across it – a friend and I found it while on a very late, and very casual garbage run.

People on Instagram noticed this cute little Christmas tree at the top of the pile. It seems to be in great shape! It looks a bit uneven in this photo but I think that’s because I put one of the branches in the wrong place.

I found a large 1976 Olympics coin bank there, which I sold at one of my recent yard sales. It was over a foot tall.

I love amateur art, so one of my favourite finds here was this deer painting by a guy named Pelletier. This now has a spot on the wall of the garage.

These cast iron pans were made by Findlay in Carleton Place Ontario. The company operated between 1862 and 1974. They were in pretty good condition, but were really gunky around the sides. From what I hear, the best way to clean that off is to throw them in a campfire. They sold at my most recent yard sale, so they’re someone else’s project now.

Those Glasbake mugs were nice, but had one chip in roughly the same place. A friend of mine is going to use them to put candles in.


That 1950s Thermos sold for 10$ at my yard sale (a good deal, I think – I could have sold it for a lot more on eBay). The wooden spoon looks to be a memento from a 1966 sugar shack party.

Swizzle sticks are always fun. My favourite is the mermaid on the left, which came from Montreal’s Bellevue Casino. The Bellevue was a pretty popular spot back in the day, but shut down in the late 1950s.

There was a fair bit of candle-making stuff, as well as a collection of old beeswax candles.

My most profitable find there so far was this bag full of pens. Most were long dead and nothing special …

… but thankfully a few were noteworthy. The top three are Northrite pens, which aren’t super fancy but solid enough. The Expo 67 pen is kind of neat, I haven’t seen one previously. The best though is the Parker VP on the bottom, which was actually in very nice condition.

It has a 14k gold nib, and I expect it to sell for around 100$. This is why I always keep an eye out for old pens!

That’s all from this place for now, though if I’m lucky I’ll have more to show at some point down the line.

Here’s a few other miscellaneous finds. I found this stuff at a one hit wonder spot in St Michel. The horse clock was cool, but it had been repaired many times and the clock itself didn’t work. However, someone at my most recent yard sale liked it regardless and was pumped to get it for a dollar. I’m glad it found a good home! The cute heart clock also didn’t work, but someone bought it for a dollar nonetheless.

I happened upon a few watches in Rosemont. Most weren’t anything special, but the vintage automatic Seiko on the right is nice of neat and should be worth selling on eBay.

I saved some old wooden printing blocks in Outremont. They look to be from some old french Canadian history textbook. They’re pretty interesting, zoom in for a closer look!

Otherwise, this vintage pineapple lamp sure did make my Instagram followers jealous. Do you like it? The lamp was just sitting there on the curb in NDG, and I was lucky to come across it first. I could probably sell it for a nice price, but for now I plan on keeping it.

The weather is looking iffy for this weekend, so unless that clears up my (real) last yard sale will be later in October. I’ll keep you posted, however.

Relevant links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to
6. Follow me on Instagram

Email: I often fall behind on emails, so I apologize in advance if it takes me a while to get back to you.

31 thoughts on “Parker VP”

  1. I would switch the photos in the Christmas light auction and use the shot of the four open boxes shown here first. Granted, it’s not a photo of the full lot, but it’s a much more appealing and enticing photo than the box of unidentifiable stuff. You’ll get more views, I guarantee it.

    Also, have you thought about adding a photo of some of the strings plugged in?

    1. I was considering that, and you’re probably right. I’ll do that now. Photos of them on might be good, but I doubt I’ll get to it.

  2. I suspect the pineapple lamp has a replacement globe. The original must have been much larger, as the present one seems out of proportion to the base. It’s pretty cool kitsch though, nonetheless. 🙂

    1. Maybe, I could see it with a globe but I personally think this shade matches it alright. I forgot to mention its dimension in the post, but it’s pretty large, about 79cm or 31″ tall.

  3. That lamp is cool, but it looks more like a pine cone to me 🙂 Does it take one of those large base light bulbs? If so, having just found an old lamp that takes one of those bulbs myself, buying an adapter for it to fit regular bulbs is cheaper than buying the big bulb itself.

    1. It does take one of those larger bulbs. I was going to try to track down a bulb, but I’ll keep that in mind as well.

      You might be right about it being a pine cone. It’s a pine something, that’s for sure.

    1. Yes! “Quality junk” is a great oxymoron!

      Being a fountain pen nut, the Parker is my fav thing here, but those wood blocks are pretty cool. Thanks for your blog–it’s like we get to share your junking adventures.

      1. Haha, I too like the term quality junk. I figure it was junk to someone, that’s why it was thrown out. It’s also junk to me, because I only really want it to sell it, and also to make sure it doesn’t get destroyed. But it’s still quality stuff, so quality junk it is.

        I’ve found a few nice pens lately, so keep an eye on the blog to check them out. I’m always excited to find pens now… it seems that people often mistake Parkers and Sheaffers for trash. Mont Blanc, not so much unfortunately.

        Glad you like the blog!

    1. I’ll check that out. I may just have nothing listed at the moment. I plan on renewing the old listings soon, and then adding a bunch of new stuff so check back in the near future.

  4. Some pretty interesting stuff. The lamp is quite unique. Does it have any manufacturing info on it? The print blocks are also cool. Don’t know what you would do with them, exactly–T-shirts maybe??

    Here is something I am always looking for: The shade to a 1940’s Aladdin lamp that I have. The lamp is made of something called Alacite, I believe and the shade was a sort of celulose with flocking on vertical fluting–not sure if that is the correct name for the design. The lamp is a cream color with embossed leaf design. The shade is also a cream color. If you ever happen upon this type of lamp shade I would buy it from you in a minute.

    1. I don’t see any makers marks unfortunately. The printers blocks are cool, perhaps they could be part of some kind of decoration as well.

      I’ve never seen a lamp like that unfortunately, but you never know. How much do they go for?

  5. I always think you are awesome Martin because you divert so much from landfills.
    Class always shows!

  6. I grew up in Pointe Claire and still visit family there are semi-frequently.There are more than 200 streets in Pointe Claire.Just as you find great treasures in theTown of Mont Royal regularly,you could find great treasures in Pointe Claire.Think of 200 streets.Just try some new routes and combine two neighborhoods in one day that have the same-day garbage pickup.Great blog–More middle-class people need to read it.

    1. I’ve been there before and it is indeed a nice neighbourhood to pick in. The only issue is that it’s kind of far. I may go there sometime though, if I remember right the pickup is on Wednesday’s though that might have changed.

  7. I am very pleased you took the vintage pineapple lamp from a NDG street.I wish I had seen it first.I have never seen that kind of lamp before.I love unusual vintage lamps.In antique stores and flea markets that I often visit,I keep an eye out for unusual lamps.I saw a beautiful large rare Mona Lisa porcelain lamp at the St.Michel flea market ,but the asking price was $300.Too expensive.If it had been $150,I ‘d have bought it.The dealer was not willing to budge on the price.
    Can you please mention which street of NDG you found that beautiful pineapple lamp on?No harm will be done.

    1. I also like a good lamp. I have three lamps in my room, two of which I got from the trash, the third I got for 5$ at a yard sale. I’d have more, but I only have so much space to myself. I found this one on Girouard.

  8. Read this article about Pointe Claire garbage
    The garbageman only comes twice (a month, in Pointe Claire)

    CTV Montreal
    Published Tuesday, December 30, 2014 12:37PM EST

    Every year the average Montrealer produces and throws out almost 290 kilograms of waste.

    Most of it ends up in landfill sites, even though a lot of that waste could be composted.

    That’s why the city of Pointe Claire is scaling back its garbage pickup to once every two weeks, and focusing on composting instead.

    Related Stories

    •After years of delays, Montreal has the green light for city-wide composting

    •Composting centre displaced to make room for city storage

    •RdP composting facility slated for 2019

    “Now we are going to be setting a new program into motion in April where we will be collecting compostable materials from all our homes in Pointe Claire. By doing so we will be able to reduce garbage collection to once every two weeks,” said Mayor Morris Trudeau.

    Six years of a pilot project have helped Pointe Claire residents generate less garbage than almost any other community in Montreal, but half of that trash is organic waste which takes up precious space in landfills.

    The biweekly pickups and new compost bins are designed to discourage that, but taxpayers will still have to pay.

    “It won’t mean reducing taxes because we’re picking up the same amount,” said Trudeau. “We’re picking up recyclables, we’re picking up compostable materials and we’re picking up regular garbage.”

    While some residents welcome the change,others feel the new plan is rubbish.

    “If you have a large family it’s going to be impossible to keep up with that,” said one woman.

    “I think it would be gross,” said another.

    “I live in an apartment so like I could imagine in the summer, like the garbage is overflowing after a week so I think it would be kinda gross to have it every two weeks.”

    Like it or not, other municipalities will have to do the same in order to reach a goal to reduce organic waste by 60 percent by 2015.

    “We’re very late. We’re behind the schedule for the moment,” said Coralie Deny of the Montreal Regional Environment Council.

    Part of the problem is infrastructure. Changing mindsets is another.

    “The problem of odour is form organic waste, not from paper or plastics,” said Deny.

    Which is why Pointe Claire will continue weekly pickup of organic waste for all when the new program begins on April 7, 2015.

    Other trash will be picked up every two weeks starting May 13, 2015 for some parts of Pointe Claire, and the following week for the entire city.




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  9. Please keep writing three blog posts each week.I like your blog a lot and check it every two days.I was born and raised in Toronto of Montreal-fleeing parents.But my parents and I are all planning to move to Montreal permanently.I am a fluently bilingual person and speak three other languages.Finding work for me in Montreal as a 22 year-old translator is easy.

  10. I agree with others that you should go to Pointe Claire at least once a month and search thoroughly.Also consider Pierrefonds which is much bigger.And you should also go to Verdun West and Cote St.Paul more often.Now that your sister lives in Verdun,you can visit her on Wednesday night and then scavenge the borough the morning after(.I read on your blog that your sister lives in Verdun).

    1. Unfortunately there’s only so much time in the week, otherwise I’d like to be everywhere (I’d be rich in that case). And it makes it hard to move around when I have certain places I’m keeping an eye on in my regular neighbourhoods, which is often the case.

      For example, Cote St Paul if I remember right has a garbage day on Friday morning. Other neighbourhoods with Friday morning pickups are Westmount, a large section of Rosemont, the eastern Plateau, and Park Ex. That’s only the ones close to me, there’s also Montreal West, Kirkland (if I remember right) , and others.

      The westernmost part of Verdun is on Monday if I remember right. Also on Monday is the western Plateau / Mile End, Golden Square Mile / Downtown, Old Montreal, St Michel, Western NDG, and others. Right now I have a good spot in St Michel that I want to go to every week, so it’s hard to switch neighbourhoods (though last time I did go from St Michel to western NDG – quite the trip!).

      The other part of Verdun my sister lives in is on Thursday morning like you say. Also on that day is Westmount, Outremont, Plateau / Mile End (my neighbourhood), Rosemont, Cote St-Luc, and others.

      Pointe-Claire is on Tuesday morning now, same as eastern NDG, Hampstead, half of Cote-des-Neiges, and Villeray, among others. I have intriguing spots in all those neighbourhoods right now, so it’s hard to give up on those, or even do those then go to Pointe-Claire which would make for a long night.

      Anyways, all that to say that it’s hard to switch up the neighbourhoods too much, especially when they’re farther away. I do like switching things up when I’m not finding anything. but that hasn’t often been the case recently.

  11. love the articles posted by your readers as well as your blog posts.I too think that garbage pickup should be once every two weeks in many other neighborhoods like Westmount,TMR,Outremont,Ville St.Laurent,Pierrefonds,etc.There should be composting pickups every week and recycling pickups every week.That way,I know,we can reduce the quantity of stuff thrown out.Do research on the pickups in small municipalities and try going to new places.Remember in the beginning,when you were only doing the Plateau,Mile End,Rosemont and Park Extension,you were finding a bit less of good stuff.Venture to new neighborhoods where pickers are fewer.

    1. I am focusing on new neighbourhoods a bit more these days. I don’t usually do much Plateau, or Mile End garbage anymore, especially since they switched to a morning schedule. I still do them occasionally but not nearly as regularly or as fully, partly because there are lots of other scavengers there. I still find stuff they won’t, but the chance that I’ll happen upon one of the awesome piles without someone else getting there first (and often making a big mess) are lessened in these neighbourhoods. I still go to Rosemont sometimes, but not as often. It’s partly because I mostly garbage pick with the car these days, and not so much by bike. But being able to switch neighbourhoods when one isn’t producing is very valuable I think.

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