The weather’s been great for picking this summer and as a result I’ve spent more time touring around different neighbourhoods. Today I’ll share some finds from parts of the city I haven’t explored much, if at all previously.
To find new garbage days I’ll often consult the various municipal websites, many of which feature helpful maps like the one for Hochelaga below. I misread them occasionally though and a couple of times ended up in the far east with little garbage in sight. One of those runs was salvaged by a pile containing a big haul of jewelry. Most of it was actually junk, but the three pieces above (a silver cat ring, a vintage brooch, and an 18k gold shoe pendant) made the trip worthwhile.
The jewelry came from somewhere around the top right of the light blue zone. I went there hoping to find trash in the yellow zone north of Sherbrooke, which seems to be a bit richer and a better bet for quality trash, but the trash day for that part is actually on Thursday! So it goes.
I did some picking in Cartierville, a borough bordering the river on the north side of the island. The neighbourhood is pretty diverse, serving a wide range of ethnicities and social classes. It might be my favourite of the new garbage days and I expect I’ll go there semi-regularly in the future. Here’s a haul of decent electronic junk I found in front of one house. Sony PSPs and Gameboy Advances still sell for good money, though I haven’t tested either yet (maybe I’ll do that in the fall). I added the cell phones to my e-waste pile.
One day I met a cool guy who was clearing out a nice old house by the waterfront. It had belonged to his father, who worked in construction, and looked to be filled with all kinds of handy stuff. The son had a favourable view of trash picking and put out this pile with metal scrappers in mind. I stopped by a couple times and came away with some decent stuff, like the anchor (which sold at auction for under 20$) and an old 4×4 jack that sold for 44$. I picked a few other things, but my most profitable score was a large collection of pennies that was offered to me.
He wanted to keep the bucket so we dumped them in a suitcase I had found earlier in the day. Overall I think there was about 40$ of pennies in there! Later that day I put them in a cool vintage cement tin and brought them to auction where they eventually sold for 70$. I think I mentioned this in a recent post but pennies are a pretty popular in interior design these days and sell for above value (and no rolling required) at auction.
I wish I had found this spot earlier – I bet I missed out on some pretty cool stuff.
I found a bit of junk out front of a decrepit old house complete with an unkempt yard and a rusty old car. Most was legit trash, but I did save a few neat things like an old frog & tadpole in tiny jars with formaldehyde. I think these will join my permanent collection of unusual trash. I was hoping to find more there, but I didn’t see anything in the subsequent weeks.
The garbage day in the Laval-des-Rapides and Pont-Viau sectors of Laval are the same as in Cartierville so I went on a few long runs where I covered both. The area, especially Pont-Viau has potential though the vibes seem a little weird up there. Maybe the unpleasant interaction I had with some macho dude (who felt that trying to physically intimidate me was a good way to get me to leave his trash alone) left a bad taste in my mouth. I’ll return at some point though as I’m sure not everyone in Laval sucks. This 1980s hockey championship pin was a good momento for the time I spent there.
I also found some cool photos, like this shot of a Mets game from the early 70s. I’m a baseball fan so I love finding this kind of stuff.
Saint Michel isn’t a new neighbourhood for me, though I did discover a previously unexplored part north of Highway 40 and east of Boulevard Saint Michel. There’s not much money there, in fact I think it’s one of the poorest areas in the city but I still managed to find some decent stuff. Here I saved an old dresser, a chair that I sold for 20$ at my most recent yard sale, and a solid vintage mirror that I recently brought to the auction house.
It’s worth noting that it’s very important to be wary of bedbugs when picking trash especially in lower income neighbourhoods. However, I know how to inspect my furniture finds and all this stuff looked clean (though dusty, I expect it had been in storage for a while).
The dresser had some veneer wear but was still very solid and featured some really nice vintage drawer pulls.
I’ve been using Instagram more lately and it’s helped me sell furniture quickly, sometimes the same day I find it. Basically I’ll post a picture in the “stories” section and state a price with same day delivery (I don’t like playing message tag, and my main goal is to move it as soon as possible). I delivered this dresser within a couple hours of posting it for a profit of 30$, which isn’t much but is definitely better than nothing!
This dresser I found in Ville St Laurent is another successful use of that model – I picked it up in the morning and delivered it later that day for 60$. Not bad! I’m hoping that this new sales technique will help keep my storages clear and reduce my reliance on yard sales and Kijiji people, who can be annoying to deal with.
Ville St Laurent isn’t a new neighbourhood but I have been visiting it more often of late. One day I found boxes full of figurines, many of which were elephants. None were super special, but I did sell a bunch at my yard sales.
My best find there last month was this vintage mid-century pendant lamp.
I brought it to the auction house that same day. It ended up selling for 75$, a price I’m happy with considering that it needed some TLC (the wiring was totally shot for one, and some of the colour on the metal bits was worn). I’ll be returning to this spot next week in hopes of finding more quality junk!
I didn’t do much picking this week due to the rain. I’ve also been focused on clearing out my garage and bringing things to auction. Now that I have this outlet for my wares I’m much more motivated to better organize my finds – it’d be much easier to create lots of like items if I spend a bit of time categorizing them from the beginning (like the ashtrays from my last post, but I had to dig through all my boxes to find those!).
I decided that it’d be much easier to start anew if I get rid of the clutter, so I’m going to do a blowout sale of my low-value wares this weekend. My plan is to do the sale in front of the school on Bernard / Waverly in the Mile End (a popular yard sale spot) on Saturday starting at 10am [edit: the weather is now looking worse for Saturday so I think I’ll aim for Sunday instead]. Just because the items aren’t worth a lot doesn’t mean they aren’t cool (and maybe flippable) so come on down if you’re in the area! If things go well I might do a sale Sunday as well, though I might just leave the stuff on the curb for others to pick through. I’d lose a bit of potential profit, but at this point I consider that part of the opportunity cost of revamping my space.
After all that I plan on taking some time off from organizing. Over the last month or so I’ve put so many hours into moving my junk around and I need a break!
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