Across Canada Thrifting Journey – Day One


Due to a series of unfortunate events I was no longer able to stay in Calgary for a combination of housing catastrophes and high cost of living – so I sold off any large furniture I had accumulated and loaded up the Tuscan for a cross-Canada journey back home. Knowing you only have the amount of space one vehicle can hold you really have to be brutal with your belongings. I have never really been one to attach to material objects so this task was not very difficult… the difficulty comes in Olympic-grade packing!

I set aside a week to make the journey from Calgary, Alberta to Kingston, Ontario. According to Google this is a 3,600km 38 hour trip. Seeing as I would be alone in a crammed SUV with only my music playlist for company, I decided the only natural thing to do would be to map out a series of thrift stores along the way so I could use them as my breaks. I believe my original list had 10 Value Village stores on it, an easier bet than looking for smaller shops – at least this way it was guaranteed to be open and likely not too hard to find.

Regina, SaskatchewanBrandon, MB

I ended up stopping in Medicine Hat to spend the night with friends before I made the big journey. The first night was Monday, July 22, 2013. I was there at Value Village around 5:30pm and found a few cute articles of clothing and the motherload. I always had luck with the shoe isle in Medicine Hat’s VV, being a size 5.5/6 shoe its not the easiest of tasks. I looked up and saw on the top row these ridiculously huge black buckle stilettos. Outrageous bar footwear if you will. Just for shits-and-giggles I decided to try them on. Low and behold I suddenly had to have them as massive as they were and for a price I would never in my life thought I would pay: $25. I will go on about this particular find in another posting as it completely blows my mind to this day.

The next morning at 5:00am I was up and off on my adventure to see if I could make it to Regina, Saskatchewan that evening. That was the second Value Village stop on my trip. Seeing as I was there before lunch time I thought I should probably trek on and see if I could make it to Brandon, Manitoba. Once I arrived I was pretty disheartened with their Value Village seeing as Google Maps took me all over town before eventually redirecting me to the appropriate address moments from the highway I was originally on!

Next stop was Winnipeg, Manitoba were I had expected to call it quits for the day seeing as I had travelled across three provinces in one day. I picked up some sushi take out on the north west side of Winnipeg and followed my route down through the heart of the city and expected to find a Days Inn or Best Western on the other side. Much like the trip from Kingston to Medicine Hat in January – my mother and I learned very quickly you cannot assume there will be a hotel on the other side of the city! Sure enough the only hotels I could find were beyond scary or completely booked! I ended up pushing onward to Kenora, Ontario for a total of 17.5 hours of driving Day One.

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