There is something fascinating about secondhand objects and the history they hold. A book with a long-past birthday inscription scrawled inside, or a vintage jacket with an old ticket stub in the pocket, the token of somebody else's memorable night now mine.
Which is why the Vancouver Airport Chaplaincy Thrift Store is one of my favourite places on Sea Island.
Operated by the YVR Chapel, the little shop just off site from the main terminal at Unit 1136 at 4871 Miller Road opens its doors every Friday from noon to 5 p.m. With a $10 bill in hand, I was on the hunt for lost treasure today.
For anybody who has ever had a pocket knife or a pair of scissors confiscated going through security, left a neck pillow sitting on a bench or abandoned an item trying to make weight restrictions, this is where your stuff ends up. The sheer volume of these items is impressive. Bins filled with Swiss Army Knives, neck pillows stacked to the ceiling and scissors as far as the eyes can see. All this stuff can be had for a fraction of the fraction of the regular cost, as is indicated by the crowd of people standing outside both times I visited, eager to get first crack at the best of the discarded fortunes.
In my opinion, the best deal to be had is the used paperbacks. With used bookstores all but extinct, the opportunity to peruse through a stack of dog-eared novels for a good read is becoming obsolete. But every paperback in the thrift shop is 25 cents. That's right, every single one is 25 cents! I picked up the timeless classic To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, International Bestseller World War Z and sports journalism memoir One on One - all for under a dollar. You can't even get a cup of coffee for that price.
Racks and racks of clothes, a healthy amount of strollers and knick-knacks abound. Some of my favourites are below.
I couldn't resist the Grizzlies clock pictured above, the books I mentioned, two CDs and a slingshot for less than $8. Hard to beat. And as the old saying goes, one person's trash is another person's used Boyz II Men CD.
Besides being a great place to find some unbeatable deals, the Thrift Store is an important source of funding for the YVR Chapel. Stop by to find an elusive bargain and meet longtime YVR Chaplin Layne Daggert, featured in this YouTube video.