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'Hilarious and fun': Ottawa man surprised with 40th birthday party inside Value Village

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As much as Tyler Garvey loves hunting for a vintage bargain, he never expected to celebrate his 40th birthday inside a Value Village location.

“I feel like it's a Twilight Zone episode. I'm confused, I'm excited, I'm having a great time. This is just hilarious and fun,” said Tyler, surrounded by roughly two dozen friends and family members at the Value Village on Merivale Road.

“Only my mother could put something like this together. She’s hilarious. She’s the best and this is one of my favourite places to go. I’m a nostalgic person and this is just great.”

His mom Joan set up the surprise party, inviting handfuls of people to the thrift store Tuesday afternoon.

“Him and his friends are all turning 40 this year, and so many of them have gone on big fishing trips and all these fancy things, but this is one of his favourite things to do,” said Joan Garvey.

“So, I said, I’m going to call the manager to see if we could do something here, and he was such a cool guy. He said ‘yeah! We’ll set you up a table in housewares.’”

About two dozen people came through, celebrating in the middle of the store as others carried on with their shopping and helping to create a birthday for the books, proving that to pull off a thrift store surprise party, it takes a village.

“He's just always there, always with a smile, and always really just amazing at helping out and a good time,” said Sean Everett who helped to set up the party.

“He’s got a huge, huge group of friends and a lot of people that love him.”

A crowd gathered in the Value Village on Merivale Road in Ottawa on Tuesday to celebrate Tyler Garvey's 40th birthday. (Austin Lee/CTV News Ottawa)

The mother and son duo says searching through the many thrift store aisles in the city has become a weekly tradition.

"It's kind of turned into a love, so we do it together now and we go every senior’s day. That's our bonding experience," said Tyler.

“It’s become a full-blown obsession and I love anything vintage. I’m a nostalgic person. I love old toys, video games, records, clothing and so it turned into a passion of mine.”

It’s a passion that was inherited from his mom.

During the party in the housewares aisle of the store, Tyler was sporting a 39-year-old pin from his very first birthday party in 1985.

“It’s very cool. I didn’t know she even kept it so, I think that where my hoarding and thrifting and pack ratting comes from,” he said.

”If my mother kept this, that’s why I’m here. I blame it on her.”

"People find us a bit odd I think but we just love our thrifting. We chat, look through the aisles, a lot of it is just junk but then you find the treasures that keeps you coming back," said Joan.

“The whole thing today turned out pretty good!”

Tyler’s enthusiasm for thrifting is so strong that the father of one recently started an Instagram account called @ThriftDaddy, where he posts his treasures for all to see. Many of which were found at the Value Village location where his birthday was held.

"I think it's something that's really cute. The funny part is, most of them that came here to the party, are customers,” said Razan Batshoun, production manager of the Merivale Value Village.

“I was like, ‘oh, I know this guy, I know this lady!’ So, it's nice to see that."

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