A guide to second hand shopping in St. Catharines

Photo by Megan Lee on Unsplash

Living on your own has many stressors, one being the high cost of living as a student.  Learning to manage your expenses can take a lot of weight off your shoulders as someone who’s new to being an independent student.

A part of starting life as a University student is often moving out and living on your own for the first time. There is a lot to look forward to about this aspect such as the increased freedom,  opportunities to form new friendships and integration into the culture of student life. However, freedom often comes at a price.  An excellent way to manage your expenses as a student  is to buy used items when you can. 

If you don’t know where to start with second-hand shopping, worry no more because here at The Brock Press we have put together some suggestions for second-hand shopping in the St. Catharines area. 

Book Outlet Store

If you are a big reader, Book Outlet is a must-see. Since 1994, Book Outlet has been Canada’s largest discount bookstore, offering a massive selection and up to 90% off publisher’s list prices. Found on 340 Welland Avenue, Book Outlet’s store is North-East of St. Catharines downtown and right off of the Queen Elizabeth Way. 

Value Village:

Value Village is always a staple of thrift shopping, with over 300 stores across Canada, the U.S and Australia. If you’re looking to find a lot of clothes, Value Village is a great place to start. What they might not have in terms of being overly stylish, they more than make up for in terms of selection. The St. Catharines location is just North of downtown on 360 Ontario Street East. 

Plato’s Closet

Plato’s Closet is another well-known chain of second-hand clothing stores. Though more expensive than Value Village and with less selection, Plato’s Closet tends to have more recognizable brands and some very nice clothes that don’t break the bank. There is a Plato’s Closet in Glenridge on 210 Glendale Avenue, right across the street from the Pen Centre. 


Goodwill, like Value Village and Plato’s Closet, is a thrift store that is common in most cities. The St. Catharines location is only about a block away from Plato’s Closet on 228 Glendale Avenue. Goodwill is very similar to Value Village in that they have a large collection and very low prices, especially in comparison to other thrift stores. Goodwill mostly deals in clothing, but also has a selection of appliances, which can be a boon for students looking to save on items that can normally be costly. 

Grandma’s Basement

Though they are unfortunately closing their doors on Sept. 11, Grandma’s Basement is a great second-hand vintage store right in the St.Catherine’s downtown on 144 St. Paul Street. Grandma’s Basement primarily sells feminine clothing. They also deal in a wide range of vintage items including accessories like jewelry and bags, decor, art, and kitchen & dining pieces. They can be a little on the pricier side as second-hand shopping goes, but if you are in the St.Catharines area before the 11th, Grandma’s Basement is worth checking out. 

Roly Poly Records & Vintage

The last location on our list is Roly Poly. Another store in the St. Catharines downtown, which at 314 St. Paul Street, is just up the street from Grandma’s Basement. Though there are several other record stores in St. Catharines, Roly Poly specializes in second-hand records, making it much more affordable. They also carry a variety of vintage clothing, collectables, accessories and jewelry, most of which can be seen on their instagram, @rolypolyrecords.

Budgeting can be one of the biggest difficulties for new students. It requires planning, foresight and often thinking about expenses you didn’t have to worry about when living with supportive parents. In spite of that, now that you know the right places to look, you can find a good deal for the comforts you have grown accustomed to.

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