The 6 Best Thrift Stores in Ottawa [2023]

Welcome to the hidden treasure troves of Ottawa’s thrifting scene! If you’re a vintage aficionado, a budget-conscious shopper, or simply love the thrill of uncovering unique finds, you’re in for a treat. 

From quaint boutiques tucked away in charming neighborhoods to expansive emporiums offering a plethora of affordable, pre-loved treasures, Ottawa’s thrift stores are a paradise waiting to be explored. And if you like these thrift spots, consider checking out our other shopping guides:

Join us as we dive into the world of thrifting and uncover the city’s best-kept secrets!

How We Chose the Best Thrift Stores in Ottawa

We picked the thrift stores based on a variety of factors! These are the main criteria that we used to choose the top ones in Ottawa.

  • Quality: We made sure these thrift stores have good quality items for less!
  • Price: We made sure to include the price range to see if it fits with what you’re looking for.
  • Selections: We ensured these items have a variety of items that are not just limited to clothing such as books, furniture, electronics, jewelry, shoes etc.
  • Customer Reviews: We made sure that the customers had a great experience on what they were able to get and so you can get an insight of what these stores are like.

If you’re interested in learning more about how these thrift stores were selected, consider checking out our article on how we choose the best.

The Best Thrift Stores in Ottawa

Now that you know how we selected the best thrift stores in Ottawa, let’s dive in!

1) Clothes Encounters Of A Second Time

If you’re looking for a thrift store with a heartwarming history and a noble cause, Clothes Encounters Of A Second Time is a must-visit in Ottawa! 

Founded in the early 1980s with a noble mission, this consignment store was originally established to provide much-needed clothing to Vietnamese boat people and refugees. The overwhelming support from the local Ottawa community led to the opening of their brick-and-mortar store, where they sell extra clothes and raise funds directly for refugee communities. 

With a legacy rooted in compassion and generosity, Clothes Encounters continues to donate clothing and contribute to new communities in Ottawa. Not only can you find unique and affordable treasures at this store, but you’ll also be supporting a business with a heartwarming history of making a difference in the lives of others. Don’t miss the chance to shop with a purpose at Clothes Encounters!

Business Information:

67 Beechwood Ave., Ottawa, ON K1M 1L8


2) The Salvation Army Thrift Store

For those seeking not only great bargains but also the chance to contribute to a meaningful cause, The Salvation Army Thrift Store in Ottawa is a hidden gem you don’t want to miss. 

Steeped in a rich history, this thrift store is more than just a place to shop—it’s a symbol of compassion and social responsibility. Today, The Salvation Army Thrift Store continues its legacy of addressing social and environmental challenges by offering affordable merchandise while promoting recycling and reducing waste. 

When you shop here, you’re not just supporting a thrift store; you’re contributing to a larger cause that aims to make a positive impact on people’s lives. So, next time you’re on the hunt for unique finds or essential items, head over to The Salvation Army Thrift Store and be a part of their relentless commitment to helping others and preserving the environment.

Business Information:

1490 Richmond Rd, Ottawa, ON K2B 6S1


3) Value Village

Value Village is a thrift store that has a long and impactful history, dating back to 1954 when their first shop opened in an old movie theater in San Francisco’s Mission District. 

Their commitment to providing shoppers with stylish finds at unbelievable savings has remained strong throughout the years. What truly sets them apart is their dedication to supporting local nonprofit organizations. They accept donations of clothing and household items on behalf of these nonprofits and pay them for the contributions, helping to fund important programs in the communities they serve. 

Additionally, Value Village’s leading recycling and reuse program keeps an impressive 700 million pounds of reusable items out of landfills each year, making them a thrift store that not only offers great deals but also prioritizes sustainability and social impact.

Business Information:

4345 Strandherd Dr, Ottawa, ON K2J 6E5


4) Society of St. Vincent De Paul

The Society of St. Vincent De Paul in Ottawa is an exceptional thrift store with a unique mission and purpose. 

This well-known organization is deeply committed to helping those in need within the local community. As a charitable organization, the Society of St. Vincent De Paul focuses on providing assistance to individuals and families experiencing hardship. Their thrift store is a vital aspect of their operations, as it serves as a means to generate funds for their charitable endeavors. 

When you shop at this thrift store, not only will you find a wide array of affordable and unique items, but you’ll also be contributing directly to their efforts in making a positive impact on the lives of others. Donating, shopping, or volunteering at the Society of St. Vincent De Paul is a wonderful way to support the local community and discover the joy of giving back through thrift shopping in Ottawa.

Business Information:

1273 Wellington St. W, Ottawa, ON K1Y 3A6


5) Fabrick Collective

Fabrick Collective is a truly remarkable thrift store in Ottawa, offering a unique and simplified shopping experience for secondhand kids’ clothes. 

What sets them apart is their dedication to making a direct and transparent impact on the community by raising money for the Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa. As a parent with four children, the founder personally experienced the challenges of managing kids’ clothing expenses and donating them to organizations that help marginalized women. 

Fabrick Collective provides aid to societal and political issues by accepting kids’ clothing donations and using the proceeds to support a meaningful cause. This store offers a guilt-free and convenient way for parents to shop sustainably while giving back to the community—a perfect blend of thrift shopping and social responsibility in Ottawa!

Business Information:

204 McGillivray St, Ottawa, ON K1S 1L2


6) The Clothes Secret

If you’re a fashion-forward woman on the hunt for fabulous finds without breaking the bank, The Clothes Secret in Ottawa is your ultimate destination. 

Nestled in the heart of Old Ottawa South, this consignment shop has earned a stellar reputation for a reason—offering an extensive selection of your favorite clothing labels at the best prices. From J. Crew and Banana Republic to Max Mara and Michael Kors, their collection boasts a wide range of high-quality brands that cater to various styles. 

Whether you’re looking for chic workwear or casual everyday outfits, The Clothes Secret has you covered with their diverse and wallet-friendly options. So, if you’re seeking stylish treasures at unbeatable prices, this hidden gem is undoubtedly one of the best thrift stores in Ottawa to explore!

Business Information:

1136 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K1S 3X6

FAQs About Thrift Stores
Thrift stores have varying policies regarding cleaning clothes before selling them. Some thrift stores wash or dry clean items before putting them on the sales floor, while others may not. It’s a good idea to inspect clothing items before purchasing and wash or clean them yourself to ensure they meet your cleanliness standards.
Yes, it’s generally safe to wear thrift store clothes. While thrift stores make efforts to sanitize items, it’s recommended to wash or clean thrifted clothing before wearing them. This helps eliminate any potential allergens, germs, or odors that might be present from previous use.
Value Village and other thrift stores have different policies regarding bargaining. While some thrift stores may have set prices, others might allow negotiation, especially if you’re purchasing multiple items. It’s polite to inquire if they offer discounts or have any ongoing promotions, but be respectful of their pricing structure.

To make thrifted clothes smell fresh and new:

  • Wash Thoroughly: Launder the items with a good quality detergent and follow care instructions on the clothing’s label.
  • Add Vinegar: Adding a cup of white vinegar to the wash can help remove odors.
  • Baking Soda: Sprinkle baking soda on the clothes and let them sit for a while before washing. Baking soda can help absorb odors.
  • Sun and Air: Hang the clothes in sunlight and fresh air to naturally remove odors.
  • Scented Sachets: Place scented sachets or dryer sheets in your drawers or closet to keep your clothes smelling fresh.
  • Steam: Using a garment steamer can help eliminate odors and refresh fabrics.

Remember that different fabrics and items might require specific care, so always check the care instructions and test any new methods on a small area before applying them to the entire garment.

Final Thoughts

In the realm of Ottawa’s thrift stores, we’ve journeyed through a realm of hidden treasures and unique finds. These 6 Best Thrift Stores have unveiled a world where the old becomes new, where stories are woven into fabrics, and where every item holds a touch of nostalgia. Each store on this list offers a chance to embrace sustainability, creativity, and the joy of the unexpected. So, armed with this guide, dive into a thrifting adventure and let these stores redefine your shopping experience. Happy exploring!