Declutter your space: the Great Glebe Garage Sale is coming

The Great Glebe Garage Sale is a popular annual shopfest that attracts people from all over the city and elsewhere. This year it’s on May 25, rain or shine! PHOTO: ED KUCERAK

By Colette Downie

Have you spent the winter watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix, decluttering your life and keeping only what sparks joy? As you’re going through your house making piles of things to move out, a reminder that the annual Great Glebe Garage Sale is the perfect opportunity to apply the techniques in The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

One of the highlights of the year for many in Ottawa, this year’s Great Glebe Garage Sale is planned for Saturday, May 25, from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., rain or shine. As always, veterans of this annual neighbourhood-wide porch, driveway and garage sale know that keen shoppers will be out searching for the best buys starting even earlier.

With a reputation as one of the first and possibly largest neighbourhood events benefitting the environment, the sale is an easy, fun and practical opportunity to help our community while recycling and decluttering. Vendors, visitors and businesses are asked to contribute 10 per cent or more of sales to the Ottawa Food Bank. Last year, the sale raised almost $12,000 in donations which the Food Bank, through matching donations, was able to turn into five times that amount in food. Donations can be made either online at or by mail.

How to Get Ready for the Sale

The week before the sale, sort out the items you want to sell. If you’ve been watching Marie Kondo, these will already be in a pile or box, waiting to spark joy in someone else. Get ready with all the important items you will need (bags, markers, tape, change, tables). Important note: unless you’re selling food, you do not need to register or obtain a permit or other permission to sell your stuff from your own driveway, front porch or yard.

Planning to Sell Food?

If you are planning to sell hamburgers, hot dogs or other cooked food, it is important to know and comply with the city’s food regulations. The city’s website provides more information about these health and safety requirements. Be sure to fill out the application form for Food Service at a Special Event no less than two weeks before the sale. City of Ottawa food inspectors will be on-site on the day of the sale to inspect all vendors of cooked food, so please be sure to be ready. For questions about selling food, contact

School, Church or Other Organization With Spots for Vendors or Taking Donations?

While the majority of the sale is made up of local residents selling their stuff from their own property, some schools, churches and other community organizations raise funds by making spaces available for vendors, accepting donated goods for sale or offering parking. Inquiries are already coming in from artisans, local businesses, charities and others looking for space. If you’re a community organization planning to make spaces available, accept donations or offer parking, please let me know so I can post your contact information on the Glebe Community Association website in the FAQs about the sale.

Heritage Plaques

For the sixth year in a row, homeowners are encouraged to prepare and install a simple temporary plaque or sign presenting a brief history of their home and its homeowners. Interested in participating? Visit for more information, or see elsewhere in the Glebe Report.

Electronics Recycling and Pick Up

Glebe Collegiate Institute will be holding its seventh annual e-waste collection after the Great Glebe Garage Sale on Saturday, May 25 from noon to 5 p.m. and on Sunday, May 26 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Acceptable electronics include: TVs, VCRs, DVD players, computer equipment such as monitors, keyboards, hard drives, mice, chrome books, laptops, tablets, phones, cameras, speakers, stereo equipment, printers, scanners, karaoke machines, radios and radio alarms. For a full list, see No garden equipment, power tools or kitchen appliances accepted for recycling. For early pick-up or assistance, please contact Judith Slater at

Please Remember

Make sure you set up your sale table on your lawn, porch or driveway. You cannot use the sidewalk or road. If on the sidewalk, you could be ticketed by a city bylaw officer. There are no road closures during the sale; however, some streets, including stretches of O’Connor and Bank in the Glebe, will be closed to parking and reserved for emergency vehicles.

If you have questions about the sale, you can contact me, Colette Downie, at

Colette Downie is the volunteer coordinator of the Great Glebe Garage Sale for the Glebe Community Association.

Heritage plaques at the Great Glebe Garage Sale

Temporary “historical plaques” on Great Glebe Garage Sale day (May 25 this year) showcase the Glebe’s historical and architectural features.

By Johanna Persohn

For the sixth year running, the Glebe Community Association invites homeowners and residents of the Glebe to celebrate the architecture and social history of the neighbourhood by displaying a temporary plaque identifying the history and architecture of your home on May 25, 2019.

Want to join in? It’s simple! Prepare and install a simple temporary plaque on your home and include whatever information you like. We suggest something on basic architectural style along with something on the builder or architect and historical occupants. We have a template available on our website to help and we are also happy to prepare the plaque for you using the research we’ve collected. We suggest you use an adhesive label on foam board and attach it to a stick or a tree! If your home is one of those proposed by the city to be listed on the Heritage Register, we can provide you with a copy of the document to help you make your plaque.

If you are looking for help and sources to locate historical information on your house, we suggest you check out the City of Ottawa Archives guide Tracing the History of your Ottawa Property. We have also added some tips on the committee website on how you can do basic research from home.

Since completing preliminary research for the proposed Phase II of the Clemow Estate Heritage Conservation District, the Glebe Community Association Heritage Committee has made our research results available to residents. In 2017, the committee prepared temporary plaques for all 160 houses in the study area with that information. For those of you in the study area, we hope you will put out your signs again this year! If you no longer have your sign, we’d be happy to make you a replacement. Drop the committee an email.

The committee is also continuing to conduct research in the Phase III study area that includes Powell Avenue, Glebe Avenue from Bank to Bronson and Central Park West, including the homes surrounding the park. If you live in this area, you may find research on your home in our shared Dropbox account available on our website or by emailing the committee at the address below.

If you are interested in getting more involved in helping to preserve the Glebe’s architectural heritage, our committee is always looking to welcome new members or volunteers!

For more information, visit the GCA Heritage Committee’s website at or email us at

Johanna Persohn is co-chair of the Glebe Community Association Heritage Committee.


After the Great Glebe Garage Sale, let us safely dispose of your unwanted electronics!

Sunday, May 26, noon to 5 p.m. • Monday, May 27, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Glebe Collegiate Institute, 212 Glebe Avenue (on the First Avenue-side of the school)

Event sponsored by the Ontario Electronic Stewardship program

For more details or early pick up of electronics, please contact

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