Some call it yard sale heaven — the first Saturday in June is always Vankleek Hill’s town-wide yard sale called Trash and Treasure. This year’s event is happening on June 3, 2023, brought to you by the business owners of Vankleek Hill.

On this day, everyone in Vankleek Hill is invited to set up shop and hold a yard sale. To make the event even more fun, residents can invite friends from out of town to come and set up shop with them on their properties to sell their own garage sale offerings.

Garage sale permit fees waived township-wide for June 3 and 4

While the Vankleek Hill Business and Merchant Association (BMA) has organized this town event for 21 editions (2020 and 2021 were skipped due to the pandemic), this year, Champlain Township is waiving the need for a garage sale permit for June 3 and 4 township-wide. So expect yard sales throughout the township this year.

“This is one of those times where ‘the more, the merrier’ applies. If you have space in your driveway or front yard in Vankleek Hill, invite a friend to come and hold a yard sale at your property”, says Louise Sproule, who heads up the event on behalf of the BMA. “If you are a not-for-profit group looking to raise funds, or are part of a church group, this is the day to round up donations and sell items.”

Over the years, the event has gained quite a reputation, thanks in part to an arrangement with some community-minded Main Street businesses which permit the use of their parking lots for out-of-town vendors. The deal is this: out-of-town vendors can book a space (vendors bring their own tables) and set up shop in these busy parking lots, which are like a funnel for shoppers.

“We have invested a lot in the past to advertise this event widely outside the region and it has become popular,” says Sproule, who, as owner of The Review, donates all newspaper advertising and flyer support from The Review. Portable toilets are rented by the BMA and will be installed behind the Windsor Tavern, she noted. An accessible washroom and hand-washing station are included in the rentals, she added.

“Last year, we decided to work with two other events, one of which is also headed up by the BMA. The portable toilets will remain in place through the month of July, to support the Vankleek Hill Music Jamboree on July 8, Porchfest (a BMA event) on July 15, and the Windsor Golf Tournament in later July. The Windsor Tavern is a very supportive local business and they are paying for half of the cost of the portable toilet rentals, Sproule continued. This year, portable washrooms are being installed even sooner, in cooperation with the May Show Festival, happening May 21 in Vankleek Hill.

Trash and Treasure attracts thousands of people and always takes place on the first Saturday in June. Sproule secures permission from business owners along Main Street to use their parking lots, or frontage to host vendors from out of town for the day. In exchange for their 10 x 10 spots, out-of-town vendors  pay $25 per spot but must bring their own tables. Interested out-of-town vendors can contact The Review at 613-678-3327 to book a Main Street spot.

Sproule attributes the success of the event to how easy it is for local residents to hold a garage sale on this day.

“People can sell whatever they have in their own yards and even if they don’t have a lot to sell, the BMA has advertised the event to attract thousands of people to town. It’s quite different if you host a yard sale on your own. All of the advertising is up to you and you won’t have the draw that this event has,” says Sproule.

“The BMA foots the bill for costs for this event and appreciates donations from anyone who has had a successful day and we appreciate that vendors who book space in the parking lots we have secured pay us a small fee so that hundreds of people can shop at their sales spots.” 

“We have had a few instances in the past where folks just arrive Saturday morning and unload their stuff in front of someone’s business, but it doesn’t quite work that way,” she explains.

“We encourage businesses to join in the fun, by hosting a not-for-profit group holding a garage sale, or by holding a sidewalk sale. It’s a great way to connect with people and tell them about your business or invite them in to shop. It’s all about rolling out the red carpet and showing people what a welcoming community this is.”

If you are organizing a special event or fundraiser on this day, please advise Sproule by email: [email protected]. Special events will be added to outgoing advertising, she says.

Note that the event takes place rain or shine.