Whether it be flea markets, vintage bazaars, thrift stores, or antique shops, Montreal is a city rich with options for secondhand clothing and items. Shopping secondhand is an excellent way to shop more sustainably. By opting to extend an item’s life rather than rendering it waste, we can minimize consumption of newly manufactured items that generate harmful environmental consequences. Plus, secondhand items typically cost less, and by purchasing them from the vendors listed below, you are supporting a small, local business. As a bonus, secondhand clothes and items are typically more unique, eclectic, and one-of-a-kind than new ones; no more of the same IKEA lamp or Uniqlo sweater that everyone else has!
So without further ado, the Daily presents a non-exhaustive guide to secondhand shopping around Montreal’s downtown and Plateau neighborhoods!
Bazar Vintage du Plateau: Hosted monthly, this bazaar boasts over 30 local vendors and is a great place to find eclectic vintage homeware, kitchenware, books, records, lighting, knicknacks, and just about any other item you can think of. The event has no entrance fee, and it takes place from 10:00 to 5:30 on Saturdays, announced by the group’s Facebook page. It is located in the basement of Église Saint-Denis, across from the Laurier metro station in the heart of the Plateau. Many of the vendors are cash-only, so be sure to account for that when you go. Also keep in mind that organizers ask that you bring your own bag. Be sure to check out their next event coming up February 11.
Bazar Vintage Montreal: This is another pop-up style event. Organizers boast that you can find “the thousand and one” finds collected by the vintage and antique enthusiasts present. The event is hosted once a month over one weekend with over 35 vendors. It’s open on Saturdays from 9:00 to 4:00 and on Sundays from 10:00 to 4:00. These weekend events are often hosted at Église St. Jean Berchmans around the Rosemont neighbourhood. They also host smaller pop-ups on an irregular basis at different locations throughout the city. You can follow their Facebook page for details on future events.
Chaînon Magasin: Le Magasin du Chaînon, located at the intersection of St. Laurent and Marie-Anne in the Plateau, sells a multitude of donated clothing, furniture, and homeware at a very affordable price. Furthermore, the store is run by the organization Le Chaînon, which provides women in need with safe accommodations, assistance, and support. Revenue from Le Chaînon is the main source of income for this organization’s operations. They are also accepting donations of gently-used items in excellent condition. All you have to do is drop them off at their donation reception at the back of the store on St. Dominique.
La Boutique des Petits Frères: This boutique is located on the corner of Gilford and Garnier, near avenue Mont-Royal. The store boasts “treasures at friendly prices,” including clothing, shoes, jewellery, accessories, books, records, and more. The upstairs section is particularly fantastic for finding antique home items and furniture at a great price! Proceeds of the store go towards the organization Les Petits Frères, which aims to support single elderly folks living in Quebec. You can also donate your used items at their collection box located outside the store.
Vintage Parc: This antique store in the Plateau boasts beautiful secondhand antique furniture. Most of their items are higher-end antiques, with genuine vintage pieces in art deco and mid-century styles. While many of these pieces tend to be more expensive, certain items go on sale for reasonable prices, and in my experience, the owner is generally open to negotiation and cutting a deal where he sees fit. Plus, delivery is offered for a nominal additional price for larger items.
Arté: Located in Griffintown, Arté is a depot where locals leave their unwanted wares. A spot frequented by artists, sculptors, and prop and set designers, the space can be intimidating at first, but it’s full of vintage accessories, furniture, and knicknacks. There are a range of price points for items, but sellers are generally open to negotiation.
Facebook Marketplace: Looking for a specific item? Looking for a good deal? Looking to pick up an item within walking distance? When in doubt, Facebook Marketplace is the place to go. The search tool on Marketplace is great for finding that one specific item that you don’t want to spend a lot of money buying new. There are some things you just don’t want to spend time hunting down in the thrift store – like a keyboard, an essential oil diffuser, or an S.A.D. therapy lamp. It’s a great platform for individual sellers, so you know that the money goes directly into their pocket. Plus, if you’re looking to resell your items, it’s a great way to ensure they get a second life. There are many buyers and sellers around the Plateau, Milton-Parc, and downtown areas in general due to their high student populations.
Milton-Parc and the Plateau on May 1: Foraging the sidewalks of Montreal’s student neighbourhoods on moving day is one of my personal favourite ways to accumulate gently-used items – and it’s completely free! Just be sure that items are sanitary. Happy scavenging!