Saturday, February 4, 2012

Review: Thrift Stores in Victoria, BC on Vancouver Island

To wrap up my series on our Thrifting Adventures in Victoria, I am going to share the stores we visited and the items we were able to score.

I put together a spreadsheet of sixteen potential stores and church sales that would be open on a Friday, and marked up a map before we left for our trip.

When I was researching stores before our trip, I was surprised to discover that there were over a dozen thrift shops in and around the Downtown Victoria area. How exciting is that!? Thrifting it up in our Provincial Capital is a great way to explore the town. =)

The weather wasn't ideal - there was snow and slush on the ground, and the forecast called for freezing rain. We persevered and sloshed on through. Our first stop was the Bibles for Missions Thrift Shop. I found this cute Peanuts magnet for 55¢ showing Peppermint Patty being kissed by Snoopy.

This store was huge and the prices were low - we also purchased a small wooden wine rack for $2, and just for reference's sake, they had Corningware casseroles in the Blue Cornflower pattern for $2.

We made our way to the church thrift sales, the top two stops on my list, but unfortunately, the volunteers did not make it in that day due to the weather. The chain stores were open though, so we tried the Salvation Army next and found a blue wood handled screwdriver for 99¢.

This Sally Ann store was pretty rough; likely because the social services offerred by the Salvation Army were in the same building. There was a security guard posted in the store - that's the first time I've seen that at a thrift store!

A friend of ours speculated that the high number of thrifts in Victoria may be due to the concentration of social services in the city, like low income housing and general assistance for the needy. The stores were certainly busy and well utilised, so that was a good sign.

The best find of the day had to be at the Women in Need (WIN) store with this beautiful Pyrex Butterprint fridgie! I loved it even more when I saw the price tag...

Yay, $2.95 and in perfect condition! There was a really nice sign inside this store that read: "Please do not steal from WIN. If you need assistance, please talk to us - that is what we are here for."

Next up was the St. Vincent de Paul store where I scored this great Sesame Street book for 50¢.

These alphabet pages are just a feast for the eyes. Some of the pages were damaged, but I just couldn't leave it behind. Check out the Sesame Street interpretation of the Quaker Oats label. Hilarious!

We had a great time thrifting in Victoria and realized that there are many needy people in this city. Thankfully, it appears that there are also many resources and services to assist people. In fact, many stores we visited were exclusively selling used clothing, and things like coats and scarves were very reasonably priced.

Our most surprising observation was that many of the thrift stores offerred free fresh baked bread! We had never seen this in Vancouver before. Do thrift stores in your City offer food or bread to the needy?

Linking up to ATG's Thrift Share Monday and HLA's Flea Market Finds!


  1. I live in Colorado, USA, and when I worked at the thrift 20 years ago (yikes), we served coffee and donuts on senior citizen's day. But we were the only ones. I wish I had that job now that I've rediscovered vintage!

  2. Just in time for Valentines - a cute Snoopy magnet - love it!!!

  3. Butterprint is my favourite! I've never found it in a op shop tho - I've only managed to buy it online.

  4. Great post, informative and with some eye candy! I have a set of butterprint pirex that I need to list! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Only 1 security guard? LOL. The Goodwill I go to usually everyday has 2-3 walking around. Even the Dollarama has a stationed security guard, lol.

    As always, loving the Butterprint!

  6. Ah the butterprint fridgie is perfection!
    I'm also seriously laughing at Ernie as the Quaker Oats man!

  7. Hee, yes it makes me think the Quaker Oats man would make a great Halloween Costume...

    Sir TAL, it sounds like Toronto is a lot rougher!

    Just imagine working at a thrift store... I'd be in the back room the whole time checking out the new donations!

  8. Just that one area. It's where a lot of the city housing is & there is a lot of poor & mentally ill people who shop there, it's usually always an exciting day at The 'Will!

    I'd always be picking at the back too. Pricing the good stuff really high so no one would buy it & I could buy it after my shift was done. I'd probably have one of those "LOOK AT WHAT WAS DONATED TO THE SHOP" blogs too!

  9. St Vincent and another smaller thrift store near my house had baked goods from upscale supermarket for FREE. even cakes and pastries.

    I have been known to grab one. Is that bad of me?

  10. Here in the U.S., it's common for St. Vincent de Paul to have free bread, cakes, and pastries. Most of it comes from local grocery stores, but sometimes it's from Panera! I take some if I'm there - hey, I'm a paying customer!

  11. Hey, I'm all for it - I'm sure there's enough for the customers that need it. That is pretty interesting stuff though. We figured that maybe the bakeries get a tax incentive by doing that, as it is charitable. I wonder why my local St. Vincent de Paul doesn't do the same...


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