My mom wanted to see fall colours in Quebec this autumn, so we have been exploring a bit of New Brunswick, the Gaspé Peninsula, and Ile d’Orleans. We also took my sister-in-law, Kim, along who is also a hard-core thrifter (she is one of the managers at a Bibles for Missions thrift store in Ottawa), so I was in very good company.
We were surprised to find that thrifting is not as big in this region as it is in other places we’ve traveled to (i.e. in Scotland, every little town, no matter how small, has a thrift shop). We really had to hunt but the hunt was totally worth it. We found a great one in New Brunswick, and two in the Gaspésie – one really weird one and one really cool one.
Red Cross Thrift – Edmunston, New Brunswick
One of the things I love about my sister-in-law is that she is not shy. We went for lunch to a little bistro and she asked the waitress if there were any good thrift shops around. We were directed to this little gem of a shop. The shop is not big at all, as you can see, but it was filled with quality things at very good prices. Both Kim and my mom were worried that they had not bought warm enough clothing for an upcoming boat trip. Mom found two jackets, John and I found some touques, and Kim found a really nice sweater.
My big score was these leather upper dress shoes for $3 – look at the soles, they’re like new and they’re really comfy.
I really loved the note at the front of the store that basically affirms their volunteers (They offer their time, the energy, and their smiles) and asks that we, their valued customers, would support these volunteers by putting back the things we’re not going to buy in the place where we found them as it helps keep the story properly maintained. Our participation in this is greatly appreciated!
Deuxieme Vie (Second Life) – Grande Rivière, Gaspé, Quebec
Okay, this was maybe one of the weirdest thrift stores I’ve ever been in. It was half thrift, half retail. The retail was lingerie/sleepwear, some of it on racks, a lot of it in bags and boxes that you could rifle through.
The thrift was 90% children’s clothing, well organized on racks by age and size.
You had to walk through a little hallway of thrift shoes – no rhyme or reason to these – in order to get to that part of the store.
The adult clothing, however, was a bit of a sh*t-show. It was crammed into a back corner – and I mean a back corner – no sizing, little organization, and nowhere to try anything on. Still, both Kim and mom found something to take home – mom found a quilted vest, Kim a coat for the cooler weather we experienced, both very reasonably priced. I just did not know what to think about this place.
Friperie le Grenier – Matan, Gaspé, Quebec
I bought a long-sleeved t-shirt, my mom picked up a piece of brand new tupperwear for $1 and a few knickknacks, but Kim really found some gems.
She’s moved into a new apartment and is looking for eclectic artwork. She found a few pieces like this folk art piece above.
This print is my favourite one. It’s titled “Mes Enfants Dans La Neige” (My children in the snow) by Claude Picher, an artist from Quebec City. It came from a gallery in Matan. Kim got it for $10. I mean, you can’t even get a frame for that. Isn’t it lovely?
We’re almost done our trip and it’s unlikely that we’ll do any more thrifting but these shops were a lot of fun to visit. Do you thrift when you travel? What’s the most unique thrift shop you’ve every found?