Making space to divert waste at YK’s indoor garage sale

Last modified: June 10, 2022 at 6:27am

“Yellowknife’s biggest garage sale under one roof” takes place on Saturday at the city’s Ed Jeske Arena. It’s the first one since the start of the pandemic.

Residents can book a table and sell any used home goods from clothing to kitchenware and sports equipment to toys, tools and trinkets. The city said visitors can peruse “an arena full of treasure.”

“There are multiple apartments or condo spaces around here where maybe it’s not ideal to have a yard sale or a garage sale, so this is an avenue for people to come into one central location, book their table and sell off or recycle some of their items,” said Carly Saunders, the city’s manager of programs.


“The goal of the event is just to get people back out socializing.”

All items must meet safety regulations set out by the manufacturer or Health Canada, so selling homemade baked goods, raffle tickets or other commercial products isn’t allowed. For a full list of banned or regulated garage sale items, see the city’s guidelines and Health Canada’s website.

Despite being rescheduled so the arena could be used for flood recovery purposes, Saunders is hopeful of a good turnout.

“In the past I’ve heard there have been lineups waiting out the doors at 8am to get in,” Saunders said.

Other community leaders are equally excited about what events like this offer the city.


“Garage sales allow the community to explore ways in which they could pick up goods that may otherwise go into the landfill,” said Jason Brinson, executive director of the Salvation Army in Yellowknife.

“People can get good value, they can get a large selection, and it’s a good way for people to be good stewards of their funds. It’s a really good way for the community to get together.”


The waste management aspect is particularly important in cities like Yellowknife, said Dawn Tremblay, executive director of northern environment non-profit Ecology North.

“Northerners are acutely aware that we’re often at the end of the road. Waste is also at the end of the road in our landfills. Regardless of how it gets there, it’s very challenging to get it out, so the less we put there, the better,” Tremblay said.

“We definitely support the upside-down waste management pyramid: we reduce first, then we reuse, and then the last thing we do is recycle,” she said.

“The traditional model of being really focused on recycling often, for a place like Yellowknife and throughout the Northwest Territories, means removal of items back south – which has greenhouse gas emissions associated with that,” Tremblay added, acknowledging those programs still have an important place..

For those looking to save the planet or simply save some money, the cash-only event runs from 8am to 11:30am on Saturday. Tables are available for rent until 4pm on Friday.