The Great Glebe Garage Sale is a massive community garage sale that takes place annually in the Glebe in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

The Great Glebe Garage Sale is like Christmas. It is organized by the Glebe Community Association and held every year on the Saturday after Victoria Day (that is, the Saturday following the third Monday in May). For 2002, the date is May 25, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. If there's a major rain problem the event will be held the following day. As its purpose is to raise money for the Ottawa Food Bank, vendors are encouraged to donate 10% of their day's sales. About CAD$10,000 is raised each year.

Swarms and swarms and throngs of people go to the garage sale every year. And at least every fourth house for blocks and blocks is selling something. Many schools, churches, and businesses have got stuff to hawk as well.

And you can find all sorts of things. You see a lot of people carrying LP records, books, garden supplies (because it's spring), board games missing pieces, clothes (although I'm not sure what I think about this), small appliances of yesteryear, toys designed before parents were concerned about children's safety, new baby accoutrements of the same ilk -- in other words, typical garage sale items, just on a larger scale. Last year I picked up a kitchen scale for ten cents and also two Bach CDs with the Brandenburg Concertos on them. And pardon the cliché, but a few years ago my wife and I went with someone who was looking for a kitchen sink for his cottage. Sure enough, he found it.

Don't drive your car or pickup into the Glebe on that day, unless you're hauling out some dilapidated harvest gold refrigerator or something -- first, there are too many people walking about gawking or pushing their bicycles, distracted by all the neat stuff for sale (just like you will be), and second, you may cause a problem in case an emergency response vehicle needs to get through to help somebody.

The Glebe Online. The Glebe Online: A Connected Community. May 17, 2002.

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