Value Village Canada: shop, reuse, reimagine

January 24, 2021

Canada’s 130 Value Village Store Locations


When I was a kid, we reused and recycled everything. Our clothing came from our cousins who were a couple of years older and a size or two larger. Our furniture was an odd collection of this-and-that. We turned tin cans into flower pots and pencil holders; a mustard jar held my collection of buttons; table cloths became kitchen curtains and old kitchen curtains were made into placemats. And, that’s just how we lived. We didn’t know we were doing our planet a big favour.

Well, there was one man who knew all about recycling, and that was William (Bill) Ellison. Bill opened the first Value Village store in Vancouver, Canada, in 1980.

Value Village, Mission, British Columbia

Value Village is now a multinational corporation
with thrift stores in over 220 locations
in the United States, Canada and Australia.


His first thrift store
In 1954, at the tender age of 24, and with a business degree from the University of Washington to his credit and a little financial help from his dad, Bill opened a thrift store in San Francisco’s Mission District.

Value Village
In 1966, Bill opened his first Value Village store in Renton, Washington. Within five years he had added stores in Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle.

In 1970 Bill moved his family and the company’s headquarters to Bellevue, Ontario. Ten years later, the first Canadian Value Village opened in Mission, British Columbia.

Value Village, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Bill’s son, Thomas, of Bellevue,
has headed the business since 1987.


Bill acquired his stock of reusable and resellable clothing by contracting with nonprofit organizations. Additionally, donations of clothing and household items poured in from the community.

Value Village:
Good deals. Good deeds.

So, the bottom line is that pretty much everybody shops at Value Village for one thing or another. Whether it’s to find a good used coat, a kitchen table, a set of dishes for the cottage, or some quaint objet d’art, there’s always something at Value Village that you just can’t leave without.

If you live in the United States, you’ll likely be familiar with Bill’s American chain known as Savers.

Bill Ellison died on May 25, 2008,at the age of 79, at his home in Bellevue, Ontario.

Gloria Sauvé
Communications and Marketing

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