GCA cancels this year’s Great Glebe Garage Sale

For the first time in 35 years, the Great Glebe Garage Sale has been cancelled. Donate to the Food Bank online, and keep your stuff for May 2021!  Photo: Jock Smith

By Colette Downie

For the first time in 35 years, the Glebe will not be hosting the Great Glebe Garage Sale on the fourth Saturday in May.

The decision by the Glebe Community Association (GCA) to cancel the garage sale was an obvious one based on clear advice from the Public Health Agency of Canada, and a ban on mass gatherings until (at time of publication) the end of June. The decision was announced together with the cancellation earlier this month of the associated Bank Street Sidewalk Sale. Thank you to the City of Ottawa’s Event Central for the many helpful resources for event planning during the current crisis.

The more difficult decision made by the Board of the GCA was to cancel the sale altogether for 2020 rather than just postpone it until later in the year, likely the fall.

The choice was not an easy one. We recognize the importance of the sale to the vitality of our community, to our local businesses and to neighbourhood schools, churches and other organizations that rely on the sale to raise money. Our decision recognizes we likely still have a long road ahead of us, and it is better to provide clarity now. We also felt that even if public health advice allows a resumption of large events later this year, the garage sale would unlikely be as successful as usual and could complicate what will be fairly sensitive recovery efforts.

The Ottawa Food Bank, the beneficiary of significant fundraising from the Great Glebe Garage Sale – last year we raised almost $12,000 – is already being hit hard by the pandemic. We hope everyone will consider donating significantly to the Ottawa Food Bank to help make up for another blow to its fundraising at a time when its services are in more demand than ever. We will look for other ways to encourage donations, but the best time to donate is now – online at ottawafoodbank.ca/.

In cancelling the Great Glebe Garage Sale, we recognize the importance of and need for recovery initiatives once the worst of the pandemic is behind us. It would be wonderful to have a community celebration to look forward to. Bank Street merchants and other local organizations will need our full support as we all recover and hopefully get back into normal life.

In the meantime, let’s look forward to a bigger and better than ever Great Glebe Garage Sale on May 27, 2021.

Colette Downie is a member of the board of the Glebe Community Association and the volunteer coordinator for the Great Glebe Garage Sale.

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