Great Glebe Garage Sale coming Saturday, May 27

By Colette Downie

With spring finally in the air, it’s time to get ready to sell your stuff at the annual Great Glebe Garage Sale. This year’s neighbourhood sale and celebration of spring will be held on Saturday, May 27, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., though depending on the weather, keen shoppers are always out much earlier. Bank Street merchants are also getting ready for their fantastic sidewalk sale. Here’s hoping for great weather.

The Great Glebe Garage Sale has been dedicated to fundraising for the Ottawa Food Bank since it began in 1986. Donations from last year’s sale were down, while demand for the Ottawa Food Bank has never been higher. While the decrease is not surprising given 2022 was the first year back after a two-year gap due to the pandemic, we are doing everything we can to recommit the neighbourhood to raising money for the food bank.

You’ll see a half-page ad for the Great Glebe Garage Sale in this issue of the Glebe Report. Please cut it out and post it prominently on the day of the sale to encourage donations to the Ottawa Food Bank. It includes a QR code for the dedicated garage sale fundraising page ( we hope you’ll make a donation- we suggest vendors pledge 10 per cent of their proceeds.

The Glebe will be very busy the last weekend in May, with the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend (including bib pick up starting Friday and the free Health and Fitness Expo at Lansdowne), a Redblacks game on Friday night, the garage sale and sidewalk sale on Saturday and an Atlético Ottawa game on Saturday night. With extra traffic during the sale, it may take you longer to drive in and out of the neighbourhood, so give yourself extra time. This year, we are doubling down on our message to encourage everyone to walk, ride or take the bus to the Glebe, if you can, and leave your car at home.

If you are planning to sell hamburgers, hotdogs or other cooked food, it is important to know and comply with the City’s food regulations. You must apply to the City at least two weeks before the sale (it’s free), and you’ll need someone with food-handler training on site. Home prepared foods are not allowed, and food preparation is limited to reheating, hot and cold holding, final assembly and serving the product, unless discussed with Ottawa Public Health prior to the event. The City’s website ( outlines health-and-safety requirements for food vendors as well as the online application.

You don’t need to register or get a permit to sell stuff from your own driveway or porch, though you may need your landlord’s permission if you rent. Selling on public property such as sidewalks, boulevards, roads and parkland is illegal without a permit, and offenders could be ticketed by bylaw officers.

It’s also important to keep your premises safe, given the high traffic on sale day. Here are some suggestions to help minimize risks:

Clear yards, private walkways and driveways to reduce the likelihood of injury or damage. Obstructions on your property, such as tree branches, garden hoses, toys and uneven surfaces, could pose a tripping hazard. For uneven surfaces, consider posting a sign.

Contain pets in an area away from the public to avoid people getting scratched or bitten. Even pets who are well socialized could become overwhelmed and anxious in the unusually big crowds.

It is important to sell only items that are functional and in good condition. Read the – Facts for Garage Sale Vendors. It includes items that are banned, that  must meet regulatory requirements, that could pose a safety hazard or must meet requirements under the Radiation Emitting Devices Act, like microwaves. The Canada Safety Council – garage-sales-and-yard-sales, is also helpful.

Finally, while the Great Glebe Garage Sale will go ahead even if it rains, watch for severe weather, strong winds or thunder and lightning in the forecast. The Glebe BIA and the Glebe Community Association will aim to give guidance the day before if it appears it might be unsafe to set up.

See the Glebe Community Association’s Great Glebe Garage Sale FAQs at for more tips and details or contact me (Great Glebe Garage Sale coordinator) at with any questions.


Colette Downie is the coordinator of the Great Glebe Garage Sale.

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