The Great Glebe Garage Sale:

Recycle, donate and repurpose your stuff

By Colette Downie

Great Glebe Garage Sale

Saturday, May 23
from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
rain or shine

In 1986, the average Ottawa home price was $111,643, Halley’s Comet appeared, mobile phones were the size of bricks and Glass Tiger, Madonna and The Pet Shop Boys were climbing the charts. That same year, the Glebe Community Association gave birth to the Great Glebe Garage Sale.

With a long tradition as a fundraiser for the Ottawa Food Bank and hundreds of Glebe residents selling stuff from their porches and driveways, the sale has grown into a massive community event with significant benefits for the environment.

Garage sales are a way to extend  the useful life of all kinds of stuff. Crowds come from all over Ottawa and beyond to enjoy the spring weather, soak in the community atmosphere and shop, keeping tons of useful items in circulation and out of landfill. Whether you sell, buy or donate, the sale is a great way to reduce waste, conserve natural resources and reduce your carbon footprint.

If you own property in the Glebe, there is no need to sign up or obtain permission to take part, unless you are selling food. Almost anything can be sold and passed on for reuse, including furniture, sports equipment, clothes, shoes, small appliances, tools, electronics, cookware and toys. See the sale FAQs at for more information and tips on what can and cannot be sold and on ways to donate.

In keeping with the sale’s role as an environmental event, the GCA is asking everyone to cut down or eliminate the use of single-use plastics.

Residents, why not fill up the 20-litre water container you use for drinking water when camping and offer tap water to thirsty shoppers? If you’re a school, business or community association, please avoid selling water in disposable plastic bottles and discourage vendors on your property from doing so. Community organizations may also want to offer a water station so shoppers can refill their personal water bottles.

As in other years, we hope you will contribute 10 per cent or more of sale proceeds to the Ottawa Food Bank.  Donations have plateaued over the last couple of years – we hope to change that with more reminders as the sale approaches on ways to donate online at or by mail.

Colette Downie is the volunteer coordinator of the Great Glebe Garage Sale for the Glebe Community Association and can be reached


COVID-19 Coronavirus

Like all event organizers, we are monitoring the updates and daily situation reports of COVID-19. With two months to go before our event on May 23, and based on current advice from Ottawa Public Health, we currently have no plans to cancel or postpone the Great Glebe Garage Sale. If plans change, we will update through our website and social media.

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