The all-nighter

Things are picking up again. Tuesday nights have been really productive the past two weeks, and Wednesdays have provided some smaller but notable hauls as well. The other days have been hit and miss, though Thursday/Friday came through last night when I came across a massive pile of trash behind an apartment building and spent eight hours looking through it. I think that’s a record for me – I got there at 10:30 at night and left as the sun rose around 6:30 in the morning, with only a Timmie’s tea and muffin break in between to give me the strength to keep going. Someone dumped what looked like much of an apartment, and obviously didn’t put much care into the process. Anyways, I made a few notable scores (and still have a lot in the van to sort through), but that’ll have to wait for another post.

I finally got Covid a few weeks ago. It wasn’t too bad, but still slowed me down for nearly a week. I went on a few garbage runs during, later at night so I wouldn’t see anyone and with a mask on, so I was able to hit up my usual spots and make a few finds.

Otherwise, the university students (particularly the McGill kids) are back in town, so I plan on doing a couple yard sales this weekend hoping to sell them stuff for their new apartments. I should be out at 4100 Coloniale from 12-7 both days if anyone is interested!

Anyways, here’s some more of my Park Ex finds from earlier this year. One of my favourite finds was stored in a dingy ziplock bag, which maybe led to the tossers not noticing it.

It’s a cute 10k gold alarm clock pendant. This thing is smaller than a dime, but it’s fairly thick and hefty, and at nearly 5 grams it’s worth roughly 175$ CAD just for scrap.

These folks owned some cool leather stuff, and were definitely into guns. At one point they threw out a bunch of old bullets and shotgun shells, which seems like a dumb thing to do. There’s a few holsters here, and a couple of ammo holders. The holder on the bottom looks pretty old. I think the leather pieces on the left are used somehow in shaving, maybe someone can explain how they work in the comments.

Another batch of quality junk. That clock on the bottom left is kind of cool and unusual. The sterling comb is obviously busted, but at least the silver is worth 10$ or so. A lot of this stuff will probably end up on my Instagram selling page.

I liked this old clipboard, which was patented in 1893. I’m tempted to keep this, but I never actually use clipboards so I probably shouldn’t.

More quality junk. I love the embroidered “darning bag.” Below is a Mexican silver chain, and a silver cigarette holder that was made in Israel (with an end piece that doesn’t quite match).

This Aiwa Walkman feels like an outlier here. I’m pretty good at identifying the more collectible models at this point, and I was able to sell this for 135$ on eBay even though it doesn’t work. It’s a pretty compact model, which tend to be well-made and less common (and thus more valuable). Walkman values have climbed a lot in the last five years or so.

Finally, we have a couple big silverplate candlesticks, a couple little depression glass (I think) pieces, an a kitschy Charlton glass bottle with stopper. Stuff for Instagram or maybe the yard sale.

I had a couple of great weeks at this spot, but unfortunately I’d bet that I missed out on some great stuff before I found it. Oh well, so it goes. Anyways, hope to see you at a yard sale this weekend!


1. My eBay listings. Sign up for eBay (Canada, US). Search for something you want / research something you have (Canada, US). — These are Ebay Partner Network links. If you create an account or buy something after getting to eBay from here, I get a small cut of the profit!  —
2. “Things I find in the garbage” on Facebook
3. Follow @garbagefinds and @garbagefindssells. Note that someone else runs the latter.
4. Email: Note that I really suck at keeping up with my email.
5. Donate to the blog. It costs close to 500$ a year to maintain (no ads, domain name, storage space, etc) which ain’t cheap. Otherwise, it’s nice to get a few bucks for coffee, food, or gas!


Quality finds were pretty hard to come by all through February and so far in March, but I expect things to pick up once spring cleaning gets going. Here’s some stuff from late September, when some rich folks moved from a house they’d clearly been in for a while. They were nice, and told me to take whatever I wanted.

This bag interested me because I saw a jewelry/trinket box poking out the side. I brought the whole bag to the car and sorted through it there, partly for convenience and partly because people can be weird about their bags. Most of my best finds were inside.

A lot of it was kids stuff from the 70s and 80s. I brought these games, electronic and otherwise to the auction where they sold for 60$ or so.

I also brought them mementos from a slightly controversial 1986 class trip to the Soviet Union. They sold for 22$ if I recall correctly.

Here’s some sunglasses and watches, the nicest of which were vintage Timex. Nothing super fancy, but they did sell on eBay for a bit.

I saved a lot of miscellaneous “quality junk,” the kind of stuff which is fun for yard sales.

Some of this stuff, like the “thumbcuffs,” were sold on my new Instagram account “garbagefindssells.” To be clear, I got someone else (Katie) to run the account in exchange for a good cut of the profits because I suck at doing that kind of thing. So far it’s gone as well as I could possibly have hoped, helping me unload a certain class of item more quickly and for more money than I’d get at the yard sale or at auction. Also, I like how the format helps to highlight certain items that might not look like much at first glance.

If someone wants to go back in time and beat the 1980 Selwyn House football team I got their playbook!

Lightly used wallets are always a hit at my yard sales, and these ones weren’t even used!

Believe it or not vintage batteries can sell for decent money on eBay. I’ve been stashing them away for a while, and now I might have enough for a lot. 

As is often the case, my most valuable finds were some bits of jewelry. I saved a silver Wolf Cubs ring, silver Mount Stephen Club cufflinks, a large silver ring with the word “veritas” and a lion on it, a 14k gold razor blade pendant, and a gold chain with a skeleton key pendant attached. All in all, this spot netted me several hundred to a thousand dollars worth of stuff.

I know I said I would post more, but I’ve been feeling uninspired to say the least. Depressed is probably a better word. I blame February, the weather and the 8pm curfew we had, which our all-knowing Premier graciously extended to 9:30pm yesterday. I suppose the curfew is all well and good if you have a family to go to home to, but for us single folk it can be a pretty isolating experience. Plus, I’m not sure it accomplished anything. Cases are down, sure, but in my opinion that’s due to the other restrictions. Anyone who tried doing grocery shopping before curfew started knows first-hand that forcing people to go to the store (or do anything, for that matter) around the same time isn’t a great way to encourage social distancing. Anyways, don’t get me started!

I look forward to the warmer weather, the later curfew (and, perhaps one day no curfew), and finding good trash again.

Bits and / or bobs

I’ve struggled to be focused & productive during this pandemic. I have more time on my hands than usual, but the days seem to fly by without me getting much done. I don’t think I’m the only one though – it seems like lots of people have a hard time being productive during this crisis.

Anyways, today I’ll share a few finds from one-off, pre-pandemic spots. One day I passed by an upscale apartment building and saw an orange bag poking its head out of one of the bins. Apartment dwellers rarely use orange bags, so I figured I’d stop and take a look. Inside one of the bins was some quality audio equipment.

Marantz made some of the best receivers back in the 70s, and the 2220b is considered a classic. I did some basic tests and it seemed to work fine, so it’s worth around 350$ give or take. The Bose radio is more modern but also high quality, and seems to sell for around 150-200$. I also found a couple of decent bluetooth speakers.

I never saw anything else there, but it was a good example of my “sixth sense” for garbage. Most trash is gross, so it pays to keep your eyes out for anything that looks unusual.

Here’s a bit of jewelry I found in NDG a couple months back. There’s a bit of silver in there, but the most interesting piece to me is that Montreal Olympics badge / pin. It seems to be made from bronze, and I haven’t been able to find any others like it online (though I haven’t tried super hard yet).

I also found a nice Bakelite prayer bead necklace, which sold for 25$ via an eBay auction. I was hoping for more, but I guess that’s around what it was worth.

Let’s finish with some Mile End finds. This spot was pretty junky by volume, but I picked up some fun bits & bobs. Those metal hockey coins were made for Shirriff, and distributed via different foods in the 60s. They seem to sell for between 1-10$ each. There’s also a little silver St Christopher medallion in there, and what looks to be an old celluloid brooch at bottom right.

I enjoyed finding that Midol tin and the old bottle of clove oil, which still smells strong after around 60 years.

My favourite item here is there copper ashtray, which was made to promote the old Montreal Pharmacy. I’m guessing at was made sometime between 1931 (when they became the first pharmacy in the country to offer their services 24h a day) and 1950 (when Charles Duquette’s son became a partner). Plus, the font used is pretty Art Deco-y.

I still have lots to show you, but I’ll leave it at that for now. I think I’ll share some more “part x of a million” finds in my next post.


1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings, Sign up for eBay, Search for something you want / research something you have (I’m a member of the eBay Partner Network so I make a bit of money if you buy things [even if they’re not mine] or sign up for an account via these links)
3. Help me pay off student loan debt / Contribute to the blog
4. Follow me on Instagram
5. Email: – note that it might take me some time to reply, and that I am unlikely to be able to fulfill requests for items