Great Glebe Garage Sale – a sure sign of spring

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Catherine Waters

by Colette Downie

It’s time to mark your calendar and start cleaning out your closets. Patio season is just around the corner and that means the Great Glebe Garage Sale (GGGS) is too.

The neighbourhood-wide garage and porch sale takes place on Saturday, May 27, from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., rain or shine! However, as veterans of the event know, the keen shoppers will be out searching for the best buys at 7 a.m. or earlier.

The sale is one of the great things about living in the Glebe. It’s a wonderful opportunity to recycle that stuff in your attic or basement but it’s also a neighbourhood festival with performance artists and musicians, buskers and balloons, and crowds of people shopping, drinking lemonade from kids’ stands and enjoying the spring weather. Bank Street and Lansdowne merchants also join in the festivities with their own sidewalk sales and special events. Neighbourhood churches host vendors and the city makes space available in and around the community centre as well.

Shoppers from across Ottawa and beyond come to the Glebe to buy and sell, to wander through the neighbourhood and enjoy the festive atmosphere. We encourage everyone in the neighbourhood to participate by selling or browsing or buying that new treasure.

Partnership with Kind Canada

The Glebe Community Association will partner with Kind Canada, a not-for-profit that works to inspire Canadians to include kindness in their daily lives. We’re planning GGGS activities that reinforce the idea that “small but powerful acts of kindness can make a big difference” in the lives of the people around you. More details to come.

Ottawa Food Bank

Once again, the Glebe Community Association is asking vendors, visitors and businesses to contribute 10 per cent or more of sales from the GGGS to the Ottawa Food Bank. Please give generously either online at, by mail or in person at the Glebe Community Centre on May 27.

How to get ready for the sale

The week before the GGGS, sort out the items you want to sell and get ready with all the important items you will need (bags, markers, tape, change, tables, etc.). Go to the Glebe Community Association’s web page for the GGGS at to get more information and tips. You can learn about the city’s regulations on food preparation, parking and block parties on the city’s website

Planning to sell barbecued food?

Baked goods such as muffins and cookies are easy to sell at the GGGS, but any food requiring cooking, especially meat, needs careful planning. For example, if you are planning to sell barbecued items, you must have some sort of rubber mat or painted plywood flooring under the BBQ and a wash station available (perhaps a garden hose and soap). The city’s public health inspector will inspect your food sale, so you must be sure to meet city regulations for preparation and hygiene. You will find these on the city’s website.

Heritage plaques

For the fourth year, homeowners are encouraged to prepare and install a simple temporary plaque or sign 
presenting a brief history of their home and its homeowners. Visit the GCA website for information or see the 
article on page 3.

Please remember

Make sure you set up your sale table on your lawn 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 GGGS so please keep the roads clear and drive carefully if you need to get in or out of the neighbourhood on that day. Certain streets will be closed to parking, even with a parking permit, and will be reserved for emergency vehicles; more details to come.

Bank Street sidewalk sale

The Bank Street merchants, through the Glebe Business Improvement Area, will be taking part in the GGGS with a sidewalk sale. Visit the merchants and see what they have on offer.

After it’s over

Glebe Collegiate Institute (GCI) will be holding its fifth annual free electronics drop-off after the GGGS on Saturday afternoon May 27, and all day Sunday, May 28. This is a fundraiser for GCI and is staffed by volunteers from its environment club, TWIGS. Electronics accepted will include: TVs, VCRs, DVD players, all phones, all printers, all cameras, clock radios, e-readers, all speakers and all manner of computer equipment and peripheral devices. If you have difficulty moving or transporting your electronics to the school, please contact Judith at to arrange pickup. She will organize the pickup showing Glebe CI identification.

When the sale is over, please be ready to tidy up and pack things away. Place any unsold items on the lawn for a couple of hours with a “Free” sign and then post them on a site like,, or contact the Salvation Army.

If you have questions, 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 PlaqueHeritage at the Great Glebe Garage Sale

by Johanna Persohn and William Price

The Glebe Community Association’s Heritage Committee supported a Heritage Ottawa pilot project during the Great Glebe Garage Sale (GGGS) in 2014 that saw temporary heritage plaques put up at homes on Linden Terrace and Glebe Avenue east of Bank. The committee expanded the project in 2015 and 2016 by encouraging all residents in the Glebe to post plaques for their homes. The plaques have been well received and enjoyed by hundreds of passersby. The committee has now made this an annual feature of the GGGS to increase awareness and appreciation among residents and visitors of the special and valuable heritage character of our Glebe neighbourhood.

Homeowners in the Glebe are encouraged to prepare and install a simple temporary plaque or sign presenting a brief history of the home and its occupants over the years and post it on Great Glebe Garage Sale day. The plaque can be typed or handwritten, can include copies of old photographs, information on the architect/builder if known or whatever you like. You can find a basic one-page template with an example at the Committee’s website,, or by emailing the committee at for assistance. We suggest you put the information on a full- or half-page adhesive label or page, stick it on a foam board or cardboard backing and staple it to a long wooden stake or a tree.

For information on how to research the history of your home, check out the City of Ottawa Archives Guide on Researching the History of your Home. You may also wish to use a seven-day free trial of or simple Google searches to research the background of previous occupants. You can find the names of previous occupants by looking at Ottawa City Directories (hard copy or microfilm) at the main library or city archives.  Only a few years of the directories are available on the Internet (1890s, 1909, 1911, 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916 and 1923) via and 1912 via Contact the Heritage Committee at for assistance or questions. The committee is happy to help identify the architectural style of your house or help prepare your plaque for you using any information you might have.

Special Note: If you live on Glebe Avenue, Linden Terrace, Monkland Avenue, Clemow Avenue or Powell Avenue, the GCA Heritage Committee has already completed a detailed electronic file on each home on these streets and would be pleased to provide you with an electronic copy for your use.

Do you live in the proposed Clemow Estates Phase II Heritage Conservation District?

(Details here and

The GCA Heritage Committee has compiled research on the homes in the proposed Phase II of the Clemow Estates Heritage Conservation District in support of the city’s proposal and will be providing each house in the proposed district with its own prepared plaque in the week leading up to the sale! We hope you will put them up on May 27 and share the wonderful history of your home.

Johanna Persohn and William Price are co-chairs of the GCA Heritage Committee.


Bank Street crazy deals during Great Glebe Garage Sale

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Sidewalk sales on Bank Street are sure to yield crazy bargains during the Great Glebe Garage Sale on May 27.
Photo: trevor greenway

by Trevor Greenway

When the mainstream media outlets tell you to avoid Bank Street during the Great Glebe Garage Sale, pay them no heed.

If you aren’t aware by now, you should be apprised of the fact that Glebe businesses have gotten in on the garage sale fun by staging a one-day sidewalk sale in conjunction with the fabled Great Glebe Garage Sale on May 27, and if you’re worried that browsing the neighbourhood shops will take you away from crazy basement deals, you need to pull your head out of the treasure digging sand.

“It’s like a treasure hunt. You have to kind of root through it and you’re going to get something at 90 per cent off, and it may be a retro find,” says Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’s general manager Eira Macdonell. The toy store uses the Great Glebe Sidewalk Sale as a spring-cleaning day when they mark down products to garage sale prices to unload stock. Macdonell and crew know that most shoppers during the event are looking for “bargain basement deals” and, therefore the prices must be low otherwise they’ll head back down the residential streets. “The 50 per cent off doesn’t work; it has to be priced so low that we are almost giving things away.”

The Great Glebe Sidewalk Sale has become a bit of a tradition on its own, with dozens of merchants setting up on the street and at Lansdowne every year. And it’s not just retail. Capital Barbershop sent their clippers outside for the day and were grooming shoppers as they strolled by. Jewellers at Goldart hadn’t even opened their Glebe doors yet, but owners Helen, Joanna and Mark Rozanski were down on the pavement raising money for the Sens Foundation. It’s this type of community spirit that has completely possessed Glebe businesses to fully embrace the typically 30,000-strong garage sale bargain hunters.

“Much like the Great Glebe Garage Sale, our merchant-driven sidewalk sale has grown organically into something very special,” says Glebe Business Improvement Area executive director Andrew Peck. “It’s such a great day, both for shoppers looking to score fantastic deals and for our merchants who may be looking to clear out product. A massive garage sale complemented by a sidewalk sale all the way down Bank Street creates the ultimate shopping destination in the Glebe.”

And bargain shoppers get hungry. It’s not just retailers that take advantage of the 30,000 people in the area. If you were in the Glebe last year, you may have caught the whiff of hot chicken sandwiches wafting through the neighbourhood courtesy of The Pomeroy House. The Bank Street restaurant isn’t sitting on pounds of raw chicken that they need to get rid of, but they do know how hungry Glebe shoppers get throughout the day so they set up outside and sling their signature dish.

“It’s definitely one of those days where everyone is out and about and it’s bustling and there is a good energy,” says Pomeroy House co-owner and front-of-house manager Lindsay Gordon. People come down early to get the greatest deals and get that awesome find and we just try to take advantage, and people are probably hungry, but don’t want to stop.”

Other stores like Compact Music, Capital Home Hardware and JD Adam, along with several Lansdowne shops, also offer crazy deals during the Sidewalk Sale.

So, don’t avoid Bank Street during one of North America’s largest garage sales. Instead, browse, peruse, dig and embrace it. You’ll find more than you were bargaining for.

The Great Glebe Garage and Sidewalk Sale runs from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 27 throughout the Glebe.

Trevor Greenway is the communications officer for the Glebe BIA (Business Improvement Area).

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