A great moment for updating your furniture set and gathering interesting books is usually around July 1st. While the rest of Canada celebrates Canada Day, Quebec residents tend to move on that day (or on the 2-3 days before and after) as roughly 80% of the lease contracts end on that date. There are usually numerous garage sales on the week before (although it is a summer-long practice), and if you wander through the back alleys at that period, it is not unusual to find big pieces of furniture, sports equipement, clothes, etc.
A great way to discover good spots is to simply wander alley ways and look around in dumpsters. Don't be intimidated by locked dumpsters, often it's possible to lift the cover and reach into the dumpster and grab food anyway. Seriously. No need to write down the names of the stores, just walk around and you're bound to find something!
If you're in the Plateau, check out the Metro store next to parc Laurier (on Laurier street.) They have an ongoing fill of good veggies and fruits, as well as breads and pastry (it's quite common to find nice cakes.)
Montreal is a very bum-friendly city. There are many food and clothing banks that will help you out even if you're not Canadian and you're just hitchhiking through. You can get warm meals, food, health care, clothes, shoes, hygene products, even shelter if needed. There is also a van that goes around distributing free hot-dogs and hot chocolate.
Garbage Finds - A blog about scavenging in Montreal
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