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Bargain hunters flock to Ottawa’s annual Great Glebe Garage Sale

Thousands spent the day searching for treasure at the Great Glebe Garage sale on Saturday.

As per tradition, Glebe residents went all out to participate, selling their stuff from their front lawns, driveways and porches. Neighbourhood stores on Bank Street were also holding a huge sidewalk sale.

For The Glebe, it’s one of the biggest events of the year.

Resident Stephen Richer has been part of the event since it’s inception in 1986. He knows all too well that one person’s trash is another’s treasure.

“It’s amazing,” said Richer.

“Look around you, it’s expanded in terms of area and the number of people who come and the diversity of people, they come from all around the city, it’s quite a well-known thing.”

It’s a haven for bargain hunters like Nancy Sullivan, who comes from Orléans every year looking for collectables.

“I collect pottery,” said Sullivan. “This is my best [find] yet, it’s asymmetrical, I love it.”

Glassware and other objects being sold at a table at the Great Glebe Garage Sale on Saturday, May 25 2024. (Katelyn Wilson/CTV News Ottawa)

She’s one of thousands who sifted through everything from antiques, to clothing and furniture.

“It’s just so fantastic, residents are able to get rid of some old inventory or things that you’ve had in the basement for a long time, so some great opportunities, some great sales, great discounts,” said Darrell Cox, executive director of the Glebe Business Improvement Area.

“It brings in people from all over the city. We even have people who come from out of town, Toronto, Montreal who put it on their agenda for their summer trip.”

But it’s not just a big day for treasure hunters, it’s a big day for the Ottawa Food Bank, who raised $5,000 last year from the event.

Vendors and residents are encouraged to donate 10 per cent of their sales and finds to the charity.

“The need does just continue to grow with the cost of living the way it is, with food prices the way they are, so it’s a huge day for us,” said Anthony Cardozo with the Ottawa Food Bank.

With the warm weather on Saturday, refreshments were in high demand.

Six-year-old Zayd sold out of lemonade and raised around $100 for the food bank.

“It was our first time being a vendor and I think it was a good success right? We sold lots of lemonade and people loved it,” said his father Riaz Sidi.

Businesses along Bank Street were also feeling the love, including Third Son Tailor Shop, whose new store officially opens next Thursday.

“Events like this are critical to the success of businesses and especially a new business like us, we couldn’t have a more positive event, especially coming into our opening,” said owner Robert Hastings.

With a treasure trove of items everywhere, most were able to find something special, though it was getting it home that for some, proved to be a bit of challenge.

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