Friday, June 14, 2013

Best Places to go Thrifting in Montreal

Hey Folks!

Welcome to thrifting Season!  The treasure hunt is on!!

If you're looking for awesome DIY furniture projects to repaint, refinish or reupholster this summer, here's where you'll find them in the Montreal Area:

Garage Sales & Yard Sales

Garage Sales and Yard Sales are the holy grail of thrifting.  Make sure you bring your patience and healthy way to curb your "what the heck are these people thinking?!  Fifty bucks for this piece of junk?" thoughts.  Coffee helps ;)

The truth is, most people are more than willing to part with their stuff to people who make decent offers - the trick is to ask nicely if they'd be willing to accept X, not pooh-pooh their item disdainfully and say you could get it for five bucks somewhere else.  The ol' you get more with honey than with vinegar.

Some may disagree, but in my experience if you show you genuinely like something, and the seller genuinely wants to get rid of it (not always the case), then they're happy to let you have it at a price you're happy with.

Now, how does one find great garage sales?

  • While there are lots of garage sales around town on Saturdays (check the paper, Kijiji or Craigslist -- and of course follow neighborhood signs), the best (and by that I mean largest) single one I know of is in the West Island in late April.  It's at the Beaconsfield arena, and it's not to be missed.  Keep your eyes peeled for this one.
Beaconsfield Annual Garage Sale
Here is the pair of dressers I picked up this year!

Note 1: With any garage sale, make sure you go early for best selection -- although you'll have more room to negotiate later in the day.  Garage sales are usually over by 2 or 3PM.

Note 2: it helps to have partners in crime.  If you have friends who are into this kind of stuff, text each other tips when you find a sale worth visiting, or send each other pix if you find items the other might be on the lookout for.
  • A close second would be community garage sale days, where individual neighborhoods let everyone have garage sales on the same weekend - for a fee.  Some cities I know of that have this bylaw (and by extension, do not let you have a garage sale whenever you want -- which is a real shame, don't you think?) are Hudson, Ste-Julie, St-Constant, Ste-Catherine, Delson and Candiac.  These vary by area, so check with your city.  If you know of any others, please let me know in the comments below and I'll update this post :)
Here are some items picked up at garage sales with lots of makeover potential!

Forget the top, just the wooden part is more than worth the $5 I paid for it!

Ornate frame ripe for a chalkboard insert

Perfect kids' play table

So pretty!

Read more on Garage & Yard Sales in this post: Yard Sale Hunting 101.

Montreal Mega Reuse Center
WHERE150 Boul. Montréal-Toronto, Lachine QC. H8S 1B6, Corner of Autoroute 20 and 1st Ave in Lachine. West side of building written "Depotium".
WHENOpen: Mon.-Sun.(7 Days) 10am-7pm. 


A massive warehouse full of great deals.  One of the places where furniture gets dropped off after being picked up by 1-800-got-junk (if it's still good!) as well as a place that takes furniture donations of all kinds, including from hotels.  Lots of treasures to be found.  Expect dust!

Found when looking for a small kitchen hutch to redo.

Awesome antique lamp with handpainted asian symbols.

Dressers, sidetables and armoires galore.

A leather wingback with nailhead trim for $25?  Sure, why not.

Village des Valeurs (Value Village)
Where:  Roughly 10 stores in the Montreal area.  See their site for addresses:
When: Regular local store hours.

"We make it easy to find bargains on every aisle and our stores are filled with current looks, authentic vintage finds, housewares, collectibles, furniture and unexpected treasures at every turn. Our nonprofit alliances drop off thousands of items every day so no two shopping trips are ever the same."  Open since 1954.

There isn't always a ton of furniture, but you can get lucky.  It's worth a visit if you're on the hunt.

Another cute hutch found during the great hutch-hunt of 2011.

Note: to read more about how this fabled hutch-hunt turned out, check out our post DIY Kitchen Hutch/Buffet Redo.

Adorable birdcage

We've had lots of luck finding decorative items to upcycle at Village des Valeurs.

Habitat for Humanity ReStore
Where: 4399 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest  Montreal, QC H4C 1R9
When:  Closed on Sundays.  Check their site for store hours:

The Habitat for Humanity Montreal ReStore sells quality, new and gently-used furniture, appliances, home décor items, building and renovation materials to the public at greatly reduced prices.

All products are donated by local businesses or individuals keeping useful items out of the landfill.

Montreal's ReStore on Notre-Dame

So many odds and ends - often still in the box.

Inexpensive couches - always handy.

Search for door-related projects on Pinterest! Headboards, shelves, etc.

Flooring leftovers can be used to build feature walls, tabletops, cutting boards, etc.

The Salvation Army

Hands-down, the downtown store on Notre-Dame has the biggest furniture selection, upstairs.  We've also had some luck at the Pierrefonds location.  Have you found any treasures at other locations?

For hours and addresses, check out their website,
There are about 8 thrift shops in the Montreal area.

Here are some pieces spotted at the Sally-Ann -- I didn't buy them all...  but I could have ;)

Beautiful TV armoire from a hotel.

Funky little writing desk

Beautiful old dresser

And its little brother

Pretty little vanity for a girl's room or bathroom

This would be fun to reupholster.  The caning was beautiful.

Another potential reupholster project.  Great lines and proportions.

If I had an office, I'd have all these chairs in cool fabrics in the waiting area.

A perfect mini wardrobe for kids' dressup clothes

This was cool because it was wide, like a loveseat.

Seriously, why buy a new filing cabinet?  1000's out there.

WHEN:  There are four shop locations, which are open 10AM to 4PM daily, except Mondays. 
WHERE:  The second-hand furniture shop is located at 449 Beaconsfield Blvd, Beaconsfield, QC.  514-694-8417.  For the other shops (thrift shops & book stores) check the website,

All proceeds go to NOVA West Island; a not-for-profit, volunteer-driven, community-based healthcare organization with more than a century of providing comprehensive, compassionate, quality care to vulnerable individuals in the community.  NOVA recently celebrated 100 Years of Community Care: 1911-2011.

Donations can be left at any of their shops (call first to donate furniture). 

Finnegan's Market
WHEN:  Saturdays 9AM-4PM, from the 1st Saturday in May until the last Saturday in October.
WHERE:  775, rue Principale, Hudson, Québec, J0P1H0

In addition to dozens of stalls with flea market goodies and furniture, there are often stalls with higher-quality items including antiques, jewelry, plants and flowers, as well as organic vegetables.  There also is a barn full of antiques, both restored and reproductions, which is open year-round by appointment.

You may not find the cheapest stuff, but this place is full of treasures.  Also just a really pleasant way to spend a few hours on a nice sunny day.

Le Partage
547, rue Saint-Henri, La Prairie, QC, J5R 2S9
125, rue Saint-Pierre, bureau 100, Saint-Constant, QC, J5A 2G9
1080, rue Union, Sainte-Catherine, QC, J5C 1B3

The St-Constant store.

Great little loveseat with square lines.  Plus, it reminded me of the Golden Girls.  Bonus.

Your street corner. 

Let's face it.  Not everyone is motivated enough to bring their unwanted items to a donation center and may not know young, broke university students who need free stuff.  So where does it end up?

At the end of their driveway.

Cane-seat chairs that fold completely flat.  Really neat.

Found on sidewalk.  Great condition.  Sold on Craigslist for $80.

The leaves fold down for a narrower table.  Perfect condition.

Solid wood storage unit.  Exactly what we needed for the garage.
So cool!  Solid wood.  Needs to be spray-painted, although pretty as-is.

Church Bazaars and other community sales

Two storage units to put away toys, scored for $25 each.

$5 bookcase with scalloped bottom, just needs a patch and fresh paint.

Do you know of any other spots where treasures can be found?  We'd really love to hear about them in the comments below.

Happy hunting!

Till next time,



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  2. Waaaah!!! I'm so jealous! So many of these things I want for my house. Those cane-seat fold-up chairs are fantastic. And now I am thinking we desperately need a cool old painted hutch in our house. I think we could squish it by the kitchen pantry... a fun read!

    1. Haha yes! I often have the same reaction, like "I desperately want this and had no idea!". Thanks for the great feedback. We did end up finding a hutch (which we swapped with friends for a couch) and painted it white and turquoise. You can check it out here if you like!

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