Your guide to the Great Glebe Garage and Sidewalk Sale

May 25, 2016 | by glebeadmin
Shoppers take in the Great Glebe Sidewalk Sale last year.

Shoppers take in the Great Glebe Sidewalk Sale last year.

It’s the Glebe’s favourite time of year again – when tens of thousands of bargain hunters descend on Ottawa’s most dynamic shopping district looking for deals throughout the neighbourhood.

That’s right, the Great Glebe Garage Sale is back on this Saturday starting at 7 a.m. and this year promises to be another doozy.

If you’ve never been to the Great Glebe Garage Sale, you might want to throw on elbow pads to make your way through the determined crowds to get that rare piece of Teak furniture you’ve been looking for or that killer rug that will really tie your room together.

Ottawa’s best-known garage sale, and one of the largest of its kind in North America, has been running organically throughout the community since 1986. The event has grown and grown over the years, taking on a life of its own with schools, churches and residents renting out their lots to those who have treasures but live outside the area. The day transforms the entire Glebe into a bustling market, one that is full of deals you won’t believe.

But the Great Glebe Garage Sale is just one of many shopping events happening in the Glebe this Saturday, as the merchants of the Glebe stage a one-day sidewalk sale at the same time.

Stroll along Bank Street, the many side streets or roam around Lansdowne Park and pick up goods from your favourite Glebe store. Pick up a new pair of shoes, try out a new tea, get your hair cut outside in the sun. It’s all waiting for you this Saturday.

Many of your favourite Glebe stores will be set up outside on Bank Street and on side streets. Come check out what the Glebe truly has to offer.

Also, back for a ninth year is the Great Glebe Green Garage Sale, hosted by Ecology Ottawa. The event is the organizations flagship fundraiser that has brought in over $60,000 over the last near-decade. Find amazing deals on furniture, clothes and everything in between. The event at Rogers in the Glebe also boasts water-filling stations, free bathrooms, live music and a BBQ.

For those of you that have never braved the crowds at the Great Glebe Garage Sale, we have whipped up a quick cheat sheet to help you snag the best deals and avoid any meltdowns when you realize you just bought a bed and have to walk it down Bank Street.


A shopper looks at Delilah shoes during the Great Glebe Sidewalk Sale last year.

Get there early

There is no sleep for bargain hunters. Shoppers will be out bright and early, around 7 a.m. as they look for the best deals in town. Beat everyone to the punch and snag that rare Bowie record that has been sitting in some old man’s basement for decades.

Don’t drive

Walk, ride a bike, take the bus or strap on your rollerblades as you take on the Glebe during its busiest weekend. You never know where you will get stuck if you’re rolling in your Escalade. Get a large backpack and avoid any gridlock. You don’t want to be stuck in traffic as you watch fellow shoppers walk past your car with a funky lamp that belongs in your trendy apartment. Public transit is a great way to get here. OC Transpo routes #1 and #7 go directly to the Glebe. If you must drive, use the new Glebe Parking Garage at 170 Second Avenue.

Check out the Sidewalk Sale

Don’t spend your entire day looking through another man’s trash. Hit up Bank Street and check out our merchant—driven sidewalk sale and get some real finds. Records, shoes, clothing, books, jewellery and so much more. It all starts at 7 a.m.

Staffers from the Wild Oat sell pastries on Bank Street last year.

Staffers from the Wild Oat sell pastries on Bank Street last year.

Recharge and hydrate

The weather is calling for a 28C day with a slight chance of rain, so ensure that you are well-hydrated and well-rested all day. The Great Glebe Green Garage Sale in the Rogers parking lot is a great refuge area. Fill up your free Glebe water bottle, use the washroom, grab a burger and recharge before hitting the street again. Also hit up one of the many delicious Glebe restaurants to keep the energy flowing through you all day. Check out our Glebe foodie guide here.

Only buy what you can carry

If you walked to the Glebe, it’s probably not a great idea to buy a couch. Best to buy only what you can carry, instead of trying to enlist strangers to help you lug a big coffee table through traffic on Bank Street. You won’t make too many friends this way.

Bring change and your haggling mindset

Don’t expect to do all your shopping with your credit card. Lots of items go for 25 cents during the day and you don’t want to ask for change for $100. And bring your bargaining hat, you’ll likely be able to haggle your way into paying just $5 for that used Keurig machine.

Stay late

If you’re looking to snag really amazing deals, stroll back through the garage sales at the end of the day and most of what hasn’t been sold will be at a reduced price or free.

Have fun

There’s nothing worse than running into a sourpuss while shopping. Put your smile on and have fun in the sun while you shop in Ottawa’s most dynamic shopping district, the Glebe.