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What you need to know about the Great Glebe Garage Sale

Bargain hunting at the Great Glebe Garage Sale. Photo by Chris Saunders.

Each year for over two decades, thousands of people have flocked to the Glebe for the annual Great Glebe Garage Sale. I’m sure you’ve heard about this legendary local garage sale. It’s the one where people walk away with used traffic lights or rare and valuable works of art. These finds are rare however. Most people end up with sore feet and a backpack full of ceramic pots and old books that their significant other purchased over on Holmwood.

Related: The Great Glebe Garage Sale is on Saturday, here are some pro tips for getting ready

About the Great Glebe Garage Sale


The Great Glebe Garage Sale is coming up on Saturday, May 26, 2018 from 8:00am – 3:00pm. (While 8:00am is the “official” start time, sellers and buyers are usually out much earlier.)

Bring cash:

ATMs empty out early, so bring cash to avoid disappointment.


All participants are asked to donate 10% of proceeds to the Ottawa Food Bank.

Rain date:

The Great Glebe Garage Sale goes rain or shine.


DON’T BRING YOUR CAR! Walk, ride your bike or take the bus. Traffic in the Glebe will be chaos on Saturday. Not only is there a massive garage sale, but there are also Ottawa Race Weekend events happening, and there’s construction nearby on Bronson Avenue. If you have to bring your car, Lansdowne Park can be a good spot to park.

More tips:

  1. Garage sale veterans say the sales are better on the west side of Bank Street.
  2. It’s not just about buying old, used stuff — many Glebe merchants and restaurants and community groups are participating too
  3. Buy from all the lemonade stands (via @alisonjette)
  4. If you want it, buy it. If you leave then come back, it’ll be gone. (via chloeGHT)
  5. Get there EARLY! And by early I mean 7am. (via @anatheaT)
  6. Come equipped with eco-friendly bags for your purchases and check out the churches for some great book finds! (via @Ivy_O)
  7. If we are asking $100 for something, no I will not take 50 cents for it!! (via @navyliz)

More from our blog: Pro Tips for getting ready for the Great Glebe Garage Sale…

  • David Scrimshaw’s Garage Sale Schema Check out this link for lots of great tips from this veteran Glebe Garage Sale shopper. Tips like, “Don’t make plans for late afternoon … you’ll need a nap when you get home” and “don’t bother with the blocks east of Bank” and “buy lemonade from kids as often as your internal organs permit”. A must-read before you head out on any garage sale expedition.
  • Glebe Garage Sale official site
  • Of course the Glebe isn’t the only urban neighbourhood with a big annual community garage sale. Check out our Used Stuff Guide for more garage sale listings.

Great Glebe Garage Sale FAQ

FAQ via the The Glebe Community Association

What is the Great Glebe Garage Sale?

It is a community event organized by the Glebe Community Association since 1986. Homeowners in the Glebe are the primary vendors working on their front lawns, driveways and porches. Collectively they make one giant sale that has become an annual community festival attracting thousands of people to the neighbourhood.

What’s the connection with The Ottawa Food Bank?

From the start of the Great Glebe Garage Sale in 1986, the Glebe Community Association has encouraged vendors (and shoppers) to voluntarily donate some of their proceeds to the Ottawa Food Bank. As a charitable organization, the Ottawa Food Bank will issue tax receipts for donations. The goal is to raise $12,000 this year.

What is the date?

The sale is always the fourth Saturday in May; this year the sale takes place on Saturday May 27th, 2017 and runs from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

What will happen if it rains?

The sale will continue rain or shine! There is no rain date for the sale. Vendors are encouraged to plan on using tarps or garages if there is rain in the forecast.

Where is the Glebe?

The sale is held in the City of Ottawa in ‘The Glebe’, the neighbourhood bordered by Bronson Avenue, the Queensway (417), and the Canal. A number 1 or 7 OC Transpo bus going north/south on Bank Street will take you into the heart of the Glebe. Ideally, please keep your cars at home.

How do I register as a vendor?

There is no official registration, however there are restrictions as to where you can set up your sale.

Can I set up a table on the sidewalk in front of my apartment building or in a local park?

Absolutely NOT!  Vending on public property such as sidewalks, boulevards, roads, and parkland is illegal without a permit and you may be ticketed by Ottawa by-law officers.

Where can I get space?

Mutchmor Public School will have spots available for reservation this year. Payment can be made at the school located at 185 5th Avenue during regular office hours. Any questions please contact mutchmorpscouncil@gmail.com

The Fourth Avenue Baptist Church has space available for the GGGS Fourth is renting space and can be contacted using our email – fourthavenue@rogers.com or call 613-236-1804.

You can also contact the Glebe Community Centre at ccGlebecc@ottawa.ca or call 613-564-1058.

What about food sales?

Anyone selling food such as BBQ hamburgers and hot dogs (except baked goods) must comply with City by-laws on food preparation and selling. If you are a chip-wagon or a hot-dog cart or another type of itinerant food vendor, you are you technically not allowed to vend in a residential area unless you have permission in a parking lot. Then you must also get a city permit for the day.

Residents are not required to apply for a permit to sell BBQ food. However, you must be aware that City of Ottawa food inspectors will be on-site on the day of the sale to inspect all vendors of cooked food. You will be inspected, so please be sure to be ready.

If you want to have a street party, be sure to read the City of Ottawa website. Contact petrina.bonia@ottawa.ca to notify the City of your street party.

What rules apply to sales of cooked food (BBQ)?

Baked goods such as muffins, cookies etc. are easy to sell at the GGGS, but any food requiring cooking, especially meat, requires careful planning. If you are planning a BBQ on your property to sell at the GGGS, you must have some sort of rubber mat or painted plywood flooring under the barbecue and a wash station available (perhaps a garden hose and soap).

If you are unable to meet the city’s public health inspector’s requests, you may be asked to discontinue the selling food. Check the City of Ottawa’s website to familiarize yourself with the rules.

What are some tips for a successful garage sale?

Set up early so that you are prepared for those early birds! Price all your items, either individually or in groups (eg. books 25 cents). Display items on tables or in boxes according to type and/or price. Have a cash box or change apron with lots of coins for change. In the case of large items that can’t be carried away, an impromptu sales receipt can be drawn up with a deposit and an exchange of telephone numbers to hold the item until the traffic has dwindled and you can return with a vehicle to pick up your treasure.

Are there any regulations regarding the items I sell?

Health Canada has posted information for garage sale vendors on their Consumer Product Safety website. Take a moment to review the information here.

What about parking?

Parking is limited in The Glebe at the best of times! We encourage you to walk, ride your bike or take the bus for best access. If you must drive, kindly park your car and walk in the neighbourhood rather than cruising in your car to reduce congestion. The amount of pedestrian traffic makes driving dangerous for everyone. If you’re a Glebe resident, try to park your vehicle off the street to make room for the many visitors we expect again this year.

Are there any designated no parking zones?

All the usual parking rules are in effect. Please check the posting of parking signs and insure that you are not blocking a fire hydrant or driveway. To ensure emergency routes stay clear, the following streets will be marked as tow-away zones/parking prohibited even for permit holders: Fifth Avenue (from Bank to O’Connor), Bronson, O’Connor, Strathcona and Metcalfe. Parking enforcement will also concentrate on no stopping zones and double parking. Please read the residential permit parking regulations here…

Are there ATMs nearby?

Yes, at the Royal Bank, Scotia Bank, Kettleman’s Bagel Shop. However they empty out early, so remember to bring cash with you.

How can I reduce my environmental impact?

Vendors – please place a garbage can by the curb for litter. With the large crowds this event attracts, there can be a large amount of litter produced. At the end of the day, clean up around your property and ensure you don’t leave debris on the street. Shoppers – please hold on to your litter until you see a garbage can and then stash the trash.

What about access to public washrooms?

There are public washroom facilities available on the second level of Fifth Avenue Court (Fifth and Bank Street). The washrooms at St Giles church at 729 Bank Street (at the corner of First Avenue) will be open to the public. The Glebe Community Centre (Third and Lyon), Glebe St. James United Church (650 Lyon St.) and St. Matthew’s church at 217 First Avenue (near Bank St.) are often open to the public.

How do I donate to the Ottawa Food Bank?

You can go directly to The Ottawa Food Bank website and make an on-line donation at: www.theottawafoodbank.ca. or send your donation to:

_The Ottawa Food Bank
1317B Michael Street
Ottawa, ON K1B 3M9

On the day of the sale, Ottawa Food Bank volunteers are in the area with a vendor kit that provides sale information and a form for making donations to the Ottawa Food Bank. You can also drop off your donation to their booth at the Glebe Community Centre (Lyon Street lawn).

Are there other ways to help out?

Yes! The Ottawa Food Bank would appreciate volunteers to help distribute information on the day of the sale. Please come to the Ottawa Food Bank table at the Glebe Community Centre if you would like to help. Rain or shine, buyer or vendor, have fun – and don’t forget to share your luck with the The Ottawa Food Bank. If you have any questions that have not been addressed in this FAQ, please send an email to GGGS@glebeca.ca.

FAQ via the The Glebe Community Association