The “yard sale with no yard” brings together the community

Another sale at the 2023 Minto Park Sale. (Ariel Troster)
Another sale at the 2023 Minto Park Sale. (Ariel Troster)

This article has had additional photos added from the printed version.

John Shand

On Saturday, June 8, residents of Centretown will once again gather in Minto Park for a day of shopping and community camaraderie – “a yard sale with no yard.”

“It’s more than just a garage sale. It’s a community event that brings together residents of Centretown,” explains sale organizer Charlotte Scott-Frater.

She anticipates this may be one of the biggest years the sale has seen. “This year, we’ve really scaled-up.”

What sets apart the Minto Park Sale from your typical garage sale is that it’s primarily for residents of Centretown who live in apartments or condos, and therefore lack the traditional space to host their own sales. The annual sale marks the only opportunity for some residents to be able to dispose of their unwanted household wares, while also offering others a chance to browse and shop on a significant scale.

A wide variety of goods for sale at the 2023 Minto Park Sale. (Ariel Troster)
A wide variety of goods for sale at the 2023 Minto Park Sale. (Ariel Troster)

Alongside the sale, there will be live music, food for purchase from a variety of vendors, and a barbecue run by The Door Youth Centre, an organization that provides resources and recreational programming for underprivileged youth in the Centretown West/Dalhousie area.

Originally started as the “Golden Triangle Garage Sale” by former City Councillor Diane Holmes, subsequent councillors have taken on the responsibility of organizing the sale. This year, Scott-Frater, an assistant to Somerset Ward Councillor Ariel Troster, has been hard at work organizing the 80 tables available to be booked. The tables will stretch across the size of a city block inside Minto Park. Table rental fees will go to The Door Youth Centre.

Diane Holmes (right), the former city councillor who founded the Minto Park sale, with other happy customers at the 2023 sale. (Ariel Troster)
Diane Holmes (right), the former city councillor who founded the Minto Park sale, with other happy customers at the 2023 sale. (Ariel Troster)

Scott-Frater estimates that it will be about 70 percent local residents selling unwanted household items and 30 percent community organizations. In previous years, community organizations have included the Bytown Bees and the Centretown Community Association, who have sold honey and plants with great success.

“There’s a huge mix of people from all walks of life and all ages who come,” Scott-Frater said. She said to expect items for kids, books, clothes, furniture, plants, and great selection for birthday gifts.

Her most unexpected finds at the sale? A plethora of VHS tapes.

Mary Young recounts fondly her time organizing the annual sale when she worked for former City Councillor Catherine McKenney. Young eagerly looked forward every year to the sale, where delicious treats such as samosas and baked goods were always the highlight.

In previous years, live music was provided by OrKidstra, a charitable organization dedicated to empowering underprivileged youth by teaching them life skills through music.

The sale runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Young’s biggest piece of advice for first-time goers is to come early: “You never know what treasures are waiting for you!”

The biggest challenge for the sale is the unpredictability of the weather. Scott-Frater recounted how last year, with the deteriorating air quality from the wildfire smoke, the sale almost didn’t go ahead as planned. Young remembered how one year the weather was so cold, residents had to go home to grab winter jackets. Another year, it was so rainy that the sale had to close early.

“Basically, if it’s not a thunderstorm, we will be proceeding with the sale this year,” Scott-Frater confirmed.

As the sale primarily involves local residents and community organizations, it will mostly be cash-only. There are a variety of ATMs located at banks nearby on Elgin Street.

To sign up for the Minto Park sale, go to www.arieltroster.com/events and look for the sale in the event list.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *