Le quartier ukrainienne

I’ve been keeping my eye on this spot in Rosemont for a few months now (as you can probably tell from the snow in this picture!). It’s near Boulevard St Michel, in a part of town that’s home to a large Ukrainian population. One thing I enjoy about visiting different parts of town is finding different kinds of stuff, and I appreciated the little look into Ukraine that this trash provided me.

[Here’s an interesting fact I found on Wikipedia: “According to the 2016 Census, there are over 1.35 million Canadians of Ukrainian background living in Canada, giving Canada the third-largest Ukrainian population behind Ukraine itself and Russia.” I didn’t know it was that many!].

On this day one of the bags looked to have been run over by a truck. There were bits of junk all over the place, but I tried to clean it up as best I could (I keep extra garbage bags in the car just in case the need arises).

That bag held some interesting stuff. I found an old Expo 67 just laying there on the ice. It survived in pretty good condition, but probably wouldn’t have if it had ended up in the stream of water not far away.

One neat thing I found that day was this silver & enamel pin. According to people on Instagram it means “Ukrainian Canadian Committee” (or something along those lines).

I finally got my photo lights set up the other day, and I figured processing the stuff I found here should be my first order of business. A lot of it had been sitting around since the spring, and I figured it was time to add most of it to my yard sale pile. If you like the photos, or have any constructive criticism please let me know in the comments! Also, remember to zoom in if you want a better look!

Here we have a few film reels (contents unknown), a bowling award, the Expo 67 passport, three dusting powder containers (alas, little actual powder), and a weird boob thing with a broken bell inside. It’s made to be hung on the wall.

Here we have some quality junk, like an ashtray and pen holder both featuring the number “69” and some bowling pins. Not sure how they’re related, but I’m sure someone will appreciate them at my upcoming yard sale. The walrus on the left is one of those faux Inuit pieces that apparently littered gift shops back in the day – here’s an article from 1983 discussing the issue.

The lily tin was filled with sewing stuff. The wooden box on the right was made for Invincible cigars.

I found these small things the same day as the cigar box, and I had them stashed in there for the last little while. I love finding those old wire rim glasses, in good condition they usually sell for around 30-40$.

Here’s some miscellaneous quality vintage junk. I’m a sucker for old containers, so I picked up some “Suede Renew” spray, Lady Empire shoe colouring, and Baribo-Maid toothpicks. That bottle of Crabtree & Evelyn “Lily of the Valley” eau de toilette still smells pretty good! It looks to be a popular scent, and should be worth listing on eBay.

Here’s a big collection of little junk. The most valuable item might be the Birks “Regency [silver] Plate” ring box to the top right of the Bay Bob Pins. It’s a nice piece, and looks to sell for around 60$ on eBay. Otherwise we have another bowling trophy, an image of the Ukrainian Orthodox Jesus in a brass frame, an “I love to read” pin, some kind of Eastern European perfume, and an old Schwartz tarragon tin.

The icons were one of my most recent finds from this spot. These people are tossing pretty intermittently these days, but it’s not too far out of the way so I still go every week just to see.

The blue piggy bank on the right was made by Reliable toys. I found a pink one exactly like it a while back. The “baby” cup (second from bottom left) is pretty cute as well.

Yes, those sunglasses are larger than usual. There’s a silver tie clip around the middle, and next to it is an enameled pin. The Japanese fan originates from Expo 70 in Osaka.

One day I saved a bunch of handkerchiefs, many of which were stuffed in the pouch on the bottom right. I think handkerchiefs are coming back into style somewhat, and I expect these to be popular at my upcoming garage sale.

A lot of this paper ephemera originates from a Furness Bermuda Line cruise. The trip in question took place in 1953, which seems to be around when the post-war cruise industry was peaking (later to be replaced by “megaship” cruising).

One day I found these two paper bags with old ponytails inside. I didn’t know what I’d do with them, but I’m drawn to save unusual items! I think there’s a market for old hair, but I don’t know what people do with it. I think it’s too old to be of much use in wigs…

Otherwise, this Labatt lamp was a fun find. It sold at auction for around 10$. I was hoping for more (local brewery stuff often does pretty well, even when it’s really kitschy) but that’s realistically about what it was worth.

I also saved a nice old Waterman fountain pen. It’s definitely an older model, probably dating to the 30s or 40s, and comes with a 14k gold nib. I haven’t had time to research it much, but I’m sure it’s worth at least 50-60$.

So, a lot of fun finds, and some with a bit of value as well. I’ll keep my eye on that spot, and if they toss anything else of note I’ll be sure to post it here.

I’m planning another garage sale for tomorrow. Most of these things will be there, as will lots of other things. I hope to clear the place out and start fresh! The address is 924 St Gregoire near Laurier Park, and I’ll probably be open from around 12 to 6 (probably a bit later too, if people keep showing up). It’s supposed to actually be hot out for the first time this year so prepare accordingly!


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18 thoughts on “Le quartier ukrainienne”

  1. As always, a wonderful and unexpected array of human history and human consumption!!! Thank you for taking the time to photograph and then blog about all the things you have found at this spot.

  2. The Walrus piece looks well made. I can’t tell from the photo, but it looks like it may have ivory tusks. If it is signed on the back as a native people piece, it probably has some good value. Nice vintage finds!

  3. I used to live in Rosemount and in the 60s there were indeed a lot of Ukranians living there – on Molson St., I’d say one out of two home was inhabited by Ukranians and our corner store belonged to a very nice Ukranian elderly gentleman. That church is beautiful and I remember when I was young being very curious about visiting it but I was always too shy to do so…

    1. That’s interesting to hear. That church is very nice, I’ve never been inside either. I know there’s a Ukrainian festival in the area in early September… not sure if the church is open for it, but you’d think that the Sunday would be a good day to go.


  4. There is a niche market for hair used in jewellery – in the Victorian age, hair would be braided/woven and encased under glass to be worn as a memento of a beloved (brooches, pendants, lockers, etc.). I listened to a whole podcast about a lady that specialises in making jewellery with hair, really interesting! If you list it, maybe promote it to that market.

  5. Lovely Waterman pen!

    There is indeed a thriving interest in old hair as mementos. I inherited a ring made of woven hair encased in gold, which had belonged to my great grandmother; the hair was from her mother, and dad wore it ever after her mother’s death. This mourning jewelry is called memento mori, and it’s a fascinating window into the Georgian and Victorian cultures.

    Very interesting about the Ukrainian population in Canada. I always learn something new from your blog, Martin. Thanks for sharing your findings!

  6. So happy you got the new lights (after those rats stole your old ones). Great photos. I would agree about handkerchiefs coming back in style – Non-Consumers love them.

  7. Thanks for the little history lesson; I always love those. 🙂
    The house that keeps on giving! And quite a melange of items!
    I recognize a few from my own past … the little soldier can opener in the Quick can pic, the Lady Eversharp razor in the Icon pic, the blue background handkerchief in the middle row of the handkerchief pic.
    That’s a pretty pair of maracas … nicer than Jim’s.
    Just curious … what’s that Darth Vader thingie in the Blue piggy bank pic?

  8. These are fascinating finds.It is so ,so sad someone threw away the Expo 67 passport this casually.Thank you so much for saving it.
    Please let us know what the contents of the film reels are.Looking forward to find out.I appreciate your hard work.

  9. I suspect the “69” reflects the year in which the awards were earned and presented.

  10. Marie Kondo is a Bad Bitch- from deadseriousness.com

    TheLesterLee TheLesterLee

    I love what Marie Kondo is doing out here in these streets. .

    Marie Kondo goes to a sort of messy American home and mumbles Japanese at them until they clean their house and then she flies off like Mary Poppins1.

    The underlying theme of Tidying Up is not just removing clutter that fails to ‘spark joy’ but to remove the clutter in our hearts. As you’re folding up your jeans like an asshole, Marie Kondo is smiling and blinking at you and next thing you know, you’re crying into your wife’s arms and you forgive your father for not having time to have a catch with you 42 years ago.

    But my favorite aspect of Tidying Up is how cheery and happy Marie Kondo is. She smiles ear to ear not understanding the English being spoken at her but hearing a cash register in her head every time she walks into a new home. When she prays prior to the clean up, she’s actually just making a list in her head of all things she’s going to purchase when Netflix drops off that Season 2 direct deposit.

    Marie Kondo is the ultimate bad bitch as she ‘created’ a system of cleaning up but what she actually did was just take common Japanese culture to the Western world and Americans were like ‘oh my god, what is this witchcraft? Marie, you goddess’.

    It would be like if you were in a hipster Williamsburg Brooklyn band and you took a synth keyboard to a third world nation that only has drums and acted as if you invented a new genre of music when in actuality you’re just introducing it to a country that didn’t really give a fuck about synth keyboards before you got there anyway.

    Marie Kondo is out here selling books and getting those Netflix checks and I stan my Japanese queen. She started a revolution based around putting knick knacks in tiny containers and now her bank account is swollen.

    And I do not want this to read as me being cynical. I am genuinely congratulating this woman who I would never categorize as a ‘scammer‘. She is a being of pure happiness. She has no negative motives.

    Maybe that’s what I love most about Marie Kondo. She accidentally stumbled into a gold mine when all she wanted to do was show the world how to fold t-shirts tinier. A noble cause, indeed.

    Long Live, Queen Kondo. The baddest bitch in the game.

    Thanks for reading. Tweet to @TheLesterLee if you haven’t watched Tidying Up yet so I can mock you. Also, go ahead and throw Deadseriousness a Follow on Instagram so that I can keep the lights on around here.

  11. It’s July first, so for everyone in Quebec, it’ moving day, and a chance to find common items on the sidewalk.


    1. Yup. I was out and about yesterday, mostly to see the piles. For me moving day isn’t particularly lucrative, because there’s a lot of competition and a lot of the people moving don’t have enough money to throw quality stuff out willy nilly. I made a great find yesterday, but it was on one of my regular runs and not related to moving day.

  12. Hi Martin,your blog seems to be on hiatus.Not a single post in three weeks during the busiest time of the year for scavengers.No comments by readers either in almost 20 days and no new subscribers to your blog in over 2 weeks.I hope to read more posts.I was scavenging for a couple of days in two or three boroughs but did not find too much good stuff.Perhaps fewer people are moving because of the very,very low apartment vacancy rate.
    Please add new posts.I am holding my breath.Have a great summer otherwise.

    1. Yes I haven’t been in “the zone” often lately in terms of writing. I figure a lot of people are busy this time of year anyways so I didn’t try to push it.

      I actually haven’t been lucky these past few weeks (until yesterday, when I ended my brief gold drought). I still have lots of finds to share from before that however.

  13. Marie kondo is an obsessive nut who would push people to throw out expensive items ‘if they do not spark joy’.Many people who junk good stuff regret it later.
    Even before Marie Kondo would take off her coat after school, she recalled, she would take out a trash bag and rummage through the house for things to throw out. Her parents, naturally, were angry and banned her from tidying altogether. Marie Kondo herself mentioned it.
    Ban this simplistic guru from your life and live a better life.I am simply not impressed by her.

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