By Colette Downie
The Great Glebe Garage Sale is a popular community event that, except for the past two pandemic years, has been held on the fourth Saturday of every May since 1986, when it was established by the Glebe Community Association. This year, it is planned for Saturday, May 28 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The giant porch, lawn and driveway sale – together with the Bank Street merchants’ sidewalk sale – has become an annual community festival and recycling event, attracting thousands of people to the neighbourhood. The 2020 and 2021 in-person editions were cancelled due to COVID-19 in favour of an online sale.
From the start, the GCA has encouraged sellers to donate 10 per cent of their proceeds to the Ottawa Food Bank. In 2019, the neighbourhood raised almost $12,000.
Donations can be made online through the Ottawa Food Bank website at OttawaFoodBank.ca. Volunteers will be accepting cash donations at the Ottawa Food Bank table near McKeen Metro on Bank Street, and they will also be selling party and baking items donated by Bulk Barn.
As well as donating directly, sellers can post items for sale on the GiveShop marketplace with proceeds going directly to the food bank. If you’d like to donate sales proceeds from a special item directly to the food bank, QR codes that can be printed out and affixed to items will be available closer to the sale.
The GCA hopes all these options will help ensure that we reach our fundraising goals.
While Ottawa Public Health points out that outdoor activities carry a lower risk of COVID transmission than indoor activities, it also recommends that everyone assess their own level of risk in deciding whether to attend large events. Tips on how to do so can be found at ottawapublichealth.ca.
Anyone can sell their stuff whether they own or rent property (renters may need permission from their landlord to use common areas). No permit or special permission is needed to set up a sale table, though they cannot be put on public areas, streets or sidewalks. If you plan to sell cooked food such as hamburgers and hot dogs, you will need a permit from the City of Ottawa – expect a visit from a food inspector to ensure you comply with public health requirements for selling food.
If media interest is any indicator, we suspect that the Great Glebe Garage Sale will attract lots of buyers and sellers this year. This is one of the first large, outdoor, community events in Ottawa, and we have heard from many people and organizations that they have growing piles of stuff to sell and pass on.
We hope that you’ll join in on May 28. Maybe like me, you’ll be busy selling stuff that piled up during two years of lockdown cleaning and decluttering. I hope you’ll find time to grab something to go from your favourite coffee place in the Glebe, maybe hit a bake sale and enjoy the spring weather while you check out the garage and sidewalk sales.
Colette Downie is the volunteer coordinator of the Great Glebe Garage Sale for the Glebe Community Association.