Last of 2018 pt.2

Recently I’ve been covering downtown, in particular the Golden Square Mile a little more often. I think I’ve been underestimating the potential of apartment buildings, especially those housing a wealthier demographic. Sure, most apartment trash goes down a chute and mixes together at the bottom, creating an extremely smelly and generally undesirable concoction that I’d prefer to avoid at all costs. However, I’m sure a lot of people, when moving or clearing out an apartment, figure that it’s easier to bring their bags of goodies to the curb rather than cram all their junk down a small hole. Or, so I can hope.

Regardless, I found these coins just off Doctor Penfield while out on a casual run with my mom. There’s more than 10 Euros there, as well as 6+ British pounds, which adds up to around 25 Canadian dollars.

People throw out their foreign coins on a pretty regular basis. This is my current stash of Euros and British Pounds, the currencies most worth holding onto (I also keep Australian & New Zealand dollars but those don’t turn up quite as often).

I forget what this all adds up to now, but it definitely translates to somewhere around 100 Canadian dollars. Most foreign exchange places have no interest in coins but I was able to sell my last collection to a couple of blog readers for somewhere between 1:1 and the actual exchange rate. If anyone else is traveling to Europe soon and doesn’t mind bringing a couple pounds of coins with them let me know!

This pile provided my best downtown apartment finds in recent memory.

Many of the bags held gross chute trash but others contained old china and other kitchenware. You’d think that this kind of stuff would break on its way to the curb but more often than not it survives the trip.

This place was perhaps most notable for its platters, a couple of which look to be quite old. The one at top left is a Paloma Picasso piece so that’s not quite vintage, but the ones below it are definitely dated.

I’d guess that this one is the oldest of the bunch – it has a sort of uneven glaze, especially on the bottom, and bears no signature. After a bit of google searching I found a platter that has a similar design, at least in terms of the octagonal shape and the way it was glazed. That one was made in the 1700s, and shows wear on the underside that you’d expect from a piece that age. Mine doesn’t show much sign of wear, save for a few chips around the edges, meaning that it’s either been extremely well preserved (aside from it’s trip to the curb) or is a relatively recent reproduction. I don’t know much about old dishes, so please let us know if you do!

This one looks quite old as well. The pattern slows slight inconsistencies, making me think it was painted by hand. It does have a mark of some kind on the underside, though I have no idea what it says. It’s possible that they’re letters or numbers in a language other than English – the first two symbols look a lot like Arabic.

I also found this little guy. It measures about 15×6″ and looks pretty “mid-century.” Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be signed, but let me know if you’ve seen something similar.

This large 17″ decorative dish was also an interesting find. There’s a Star of David in the middle so I’d assume it’s of Jewish origin but I know nothing of the design otherwise. There are wires on the back for wall hanging, but I suppose those could have been put on after the fact. I’ve never seen anything quite like it, so let me know if you have! Regardless, I feel lucky to have found it in such good condition.

Unfortunately that was all I found here. Maybe I missed out on even more great stuff on the previous garbage days…

I found a bunch of intriguing stuff at a spot in TMR this summer, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to catalogue most of it. I still have one unusual object I found there, that being this ceramic vase (about 5″ in diameter) that looks like stone or petrified wood.

It’s signed on the bottom but I can’t make out what it says. If you know anything about it please let us know in the comments!

I found this necklace in with some other less notable pieces. There aren’t any hallmarks but I’m guessing it’s made from a low grade silver (like 80%). I should test it. Anyways, it’s a neat design and I’m hoping someone here will recognize it. It looks a bit “tribal” to me.

The dryer at my house broke, so when I happened upon this one on the curb in a rich part of town I decided to give it a shot. I didn’t know if it would fit in the car, but it slipped into my hatchback with an inch or two to spare. I wish I had a video of me wrestling this into the car by myself – it was quite the feat! It did end up working, so I’m glad I made the effort.

Let’s finish with this old c. 1930s “Magicoal” faux fireplace that I spotted one night on my way back from the grocery store. I met the guy who brought it to the curb, he was clearing out his apartment because the triplex he was living in had recently sold. He encouraged me to take it, and mentioned that it had been in the house since he moved in – and presumably for a long time before that.

I was going to take it either way. These things make fun mood lights (as seen above), and if I decided not to keep it I knew it’d sell for a bit of money at the auction house. As I went to pick it up I also thought about how it’d be a great place to stash something.

Indeed, I looked in the back and spotted a dusty bank envelope. I excitedly carried the beast (the thing is cast iron and must weigh about 50 pounds) back to the car for further inspection.

Inside the envelope was 262$! I doubt it belonged to the guy who tossed it, as he was younger and didn’t seem like the type to forget their stash (especially after going out of his way to bring this thing to the curb). I’m guessing it was left by a previous tenant – the bills were all from 2004 and the toonie, which looked lightly circulated was made in 2012.

I never had much luck finding actual cash in the trash before 2018, but then I found three figure stashes on three separate occasions. I’d be happy if this trend continues in 2019, but it’s more likely that the garbage gods will choose to reward me in some other totally unpredictable way.


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22 thoughts on “Last of 2018 pt.2”

  1. Those platters are worth some bucks. I suggest you look online for identification simply by googling “blue and white ironstone 12″ or whatever platter” along with any other features. Also, has a huge inventory of old china. Usually my best bet is just the google image itself. As a “picker” from northern Indiana I can’t understand why people toss such good stuff out. I love the Asian inspired platter. Just beautiful. I always enjoy your entries.

  2. The symbol on the vase looks like an ulu. It’s an Inuit knife. Maybe the vase is a qulliq, a traditional oil lamp or maybe I’m totally wrong, who knows? It’s fun to guess ! πŸ˜‰

  3. Money in a fake fireplace! Love it! You continue to be my trash-picking hero! Best of luck in 2019 and please keep blogging about your finds, it’s almost as good as being there

  4. Your findings of beautiful China and $262 of cold hard cash blow my mind.I told you to look into the trash of wealthy apartment buildings in The Golden Mile and in Ville St.Laurent as well as Cote St.Luc.But you said apartment buildings do not yield too much good trash.The trash of wealthy buildings does yield treasures.I have found gems in the trash of Shaughnessy village’s apartment buildings.You must go to Golden Square Mile more often.Remember the exceptional Jewish Nazi passports you found in the trash in Golden Mile a few years ago.Go to Golden Square Mile more often during spring cleaning season .

  5. I got a mention! Yippie! πŸ™‚
    The mark on the bottom of that unusual pot is indeed a ULU, see You may want to email your pics to this Montreal Gallery to get an opinion on the piece. Address 4 St Paul St E.- maybe it’s close?
    Love the fireplace! Best mood light ever.
    As for the money … I think the gods of trash are tipping you for a job well done.
    Speaking of god of trash, see

  6. I commented on the Facebook page, but I think at least two of the plates are Etsy-worthy.

  7. What great stuff! And that envelope with the money–unbelievable! Good for you! I love that rough pot. I hope you find out for sure what it is exactly. The one reader tho’t it was Inuit which would be interesting. Hope 2019 is giving you good stuff already and continuing.

  8. The Paloma Picasso pieces are very desirable. The maker is Villeroy & Boch pattern is Madison Avenue 15″ Oval Serving Platter – Paloma Picasso,Embossed,Gold Accents. Selling on Replacements Ltd. for $169.00. Unbelievable stuff

  9. Don’t high-rise buildings have managers,caretakers or janitors who would take out valuable stuff from the trash themselves?Some janitors of apartment buildings that I know do.

  10. Most of those pound coins are now out of circulation and unable to be spent anywhere, though for the moment you can still deposit them in a bank, though this will end at some point. The new pound coins are silver with a gold ring around the outside, similar to the Euros.

  11. You can take out of date coins to the bank of England to change. It’s an interesting trip, but takes a little bit of time (and you have to be in England). Was thinking we need to get you on a European tour – am sure there are lots of us who’d love to put you up with a chance to hear your stories / check out UK trash picking f you ever wanted to travel…..

    1. Lol, well thanks for the invite! I’d have to get over my fear of flying, but maybe someday… I have roots all around Great Britain so it’d be fun to see my ancestral homeland.

      1. I love this idea! I’m sure you have readers in loads of places in North America, Europe and Australia. Would be happy to host you too!

  12. What fantastic finds! That’s a great cash haul πŸ™‚ The Magicoal fireplace is really cool. Apartments are 100% my favorite place to trash pick. People there throw out everything for lack of storage space, ignorance of where to donate, etc.

    1. I definitely prefer single family homes because they have more place to store things, and are more likely to have lots of stuff. But I’ve definitely found some good stuff at apartments as well.

      1. The beauty of apartments is that they do not have places to store things though! Hence, when someone is downsizing from a bigger house into an apartment, they often overestimate what they can fit and then end up tossing some great stuff. I’ve found loads of vintage items in apartment dumpsters too. Where I live, single family home trash has to be put into certain bins, so it’s not easy to just scope out like bags on a curb πŸ™ Too bad, as I’m sure I drive past lots of great stuff in those bins.

  13. I moved a few times and every time I got more relaxed about packing china tbh as it can really deal with a lot.

    Really impressed by you moving the dryer all by yourself – and wow on the fireplace money!

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