Great Glebe Garage Sale is going online again

By Colette Downie

The Great Glebe Garage Sale will be going online again this year with a virtual event to benefit the Ottawa Food Bank, via the Give Shop marketplace.

This year’s Great Glebe Garage Sale – Virtual Edition will coincide with the traditional timing of the sale (the last weekend in May) with an official launch on the Give Shop marketplace on Friday, May 28.

The organizers are hoping the virtual sale will help make up some of the fundraising that the the Ottawa Food Bank will lose out on because of the cancellation of the community-wide, in-person event for the second straight year due to COVID-19 restrictions. McKeen Metro in the Glebe has offered a $500 prize to encourage participation, with each posted donation entering the donor in a draw with a chance to win.

Here’s how the Great Glebe Garage Sale – Virtual Edition works:

  1. Download the app for free from your favourite app store or sign up at
  2. “Sellers” post photos of the items they are willing to donate in the Give Shop marketplace and choose the Great Glebe Garage Sale fundraising group. (The initial price must be at least $10.)
  3. Buyers check in regularly to see what’s for sale and make offers on items they’d like to buy.
  4. Once a donor and a buyer agree on the price, they communicate via the app or website to arrange the pickup.
  5. The buyer picks up the item (in a COVID-safe way) and pays by credit card using the app.
  6. Sale proceeds, minus Give Shop’s 15-per-cent platform fee, go to the Ottawa Food Bank, which issues a charitable receipt to the donor for purchase amounts over $10. (For more information, see Give Shop’s website at

Organizers hope that the low minimum value for donations (now $10) and the addition of a website option to participate will increase interest in this year’s virtual event.

The Great Glebe Garage Sale is a popular community event that has been held in the Glebe on the fourth Saturday in May since 1986, when it was established by the Glebe Community Association. Last year’s in-person sale was also cancelled due to COVID-19.

Normally, homeowners in the Glebe are the primary vendors from their front lawns, driveways and porches. Collectively, they make one giant sale and massive recycling event that has become an annual festival attracting thousands of people to the neighbourhood.

Ever since the Great Glebe Garage Sale started, the GCA has encouraged everyone to donate some of their proceeds to the Ottawa Food Bank – in 2019, the neighbourhood raised almost $12,000.

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

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