Finding a second life for second-hand clothing

Krista Ranacher


Always one for thinking globally, acting locally, thrifting and gifting, your correspondent was assigned a mission to find a community clothes closet allegedly run by the owners of The Hill Pet Supply, at the corner of Friel and Wilbrod streets. Mention of the community closet was initially spotted in the Buy Nothing Sandy Hill Facebook group. Not yet a member of that group, I headed out to investigate, taking along some of the worn-but-good shirts, trousers, and dresses in my personal giveaway pile.

Photo Krista Ranacher

Shopkeeper Candace at the thoughtfully stocked The Hill Pet Supply explained that they did indeed organize an outdoor community cupboard of clothes donations, which they expanded through the summer to include homewares and furniture. She confided that, given support from donors and enough market interest, The Hill Pet Supply hopes to reorganize and relaunch something next summer. Meanwhile, she urged me to take my donations over to May Court Bargain Box or to the uOttawa Free Store.

For others looking to pare down their closet and give their worn clothing a second life, I encourage you to visit the following neighbourhood spots.


May Court Bargain Box
228 Laurier Avenue East

Tuesday-Friday, 11:30–15:00
Saturday, 10:30-13:30

Volunteer shopkeepers are on hand to help customers and serve as stylists. All sales profits are in support of the May Court Hospice.


uOttawa Free Store
100 Thomas More Private, Room 102, near King Edward Avenue and Osgoode Street

Monday and Wednesday, 10:00-15:00
Tuesday, 10:00-14:00

Photo Krista Ranacher

The Free Store accepts donations of all kinds: clothing, household items, office supplies, books, and food. Donations can be dropped at a different location: A red donation bin (shown in photo at left) under the main staircase in the Learning Crossroads (CRX) building at 100 Louis Pasteur Private. The main doors for that building are beside Tim Hortons at Louis Pasteur and Marie Curie, the continuation of Somerset East. The bin is tucked around to the left of the stairs if you use that door. Students, employees, and alumni of uOttawa are welcome to avail themselves of Free Store donations in the shop.

Facebook —Buy Nothing Sandy Hill


This is the Sandy Hill-specific group of the Buy Nothing Project, a global collection of community-based groups that encourage neighbours to donate their unwanted items and share freely with one another. With over 1,800 members in Sandy Hill, this is by far the most active neighbourhood group out there.