Get to know your neighbours – Henry Kitz 187 Brunswick Street

H. Kitz, Jeweller and Optician, 187 Brunswick Street

H. Kitz, Jeweller and Optician, 187 Brunswick Street

The Kitz Family of Halifax

The above photo has been mislabeled by the Nova Scotia Museum as being located at 187 Gottingen Street which means it would roughly sit today in the first block of Uniacke Square. However, a quick review of the Halifax City Directory for 1907-1908 shows that in fact the shop was located at 187 Brunswick Street which was located just in from the corner of Brunswick and Jacob streets roughly where Cogswell street use to end at Brunswick. This building would have been opposite the large Barracks buildings that stretched along this part of Brunswick Street.

Hopkin Atlas, 1878, showing 187 Brunswick Street

Hopkin Atlas, 1878, showing 187 Brunswick Street

Henry Kitz was listed in his marriage  record in 1910 as being from Austria the son of Lazarus and Anna Kitz. However, his death certificate in 1942 says that he was born in Poland. He was born 4 May 1879 and in June 1910 he married Yetta Lesser (1890-1981) of Montreal. Harry and Yetta are both buried at the Beth Israel Synagogue Cemetery in Halifax.

Harry immigrated to Halifax sometime between 1901 and 1907.

Harry seems to have eventually left the jewellery business and went into property and became a relator. The only other Kitz to live in Halifax at the time was Samuel Kitz and he lived at 185 Brunswick street and died in 1928. Its likely that he was a brother of Harry’s.

Harry and Yetta had three children Hilda (b. 1910), Leonard Arthur (b. 1916) and Joseph. Leonard A. Kitz would go on to become the Mayor of Halifax, the first Jewish Mayor of the city between 1955-1957, he died in 2006. Leonard’s second wife Janet Kitz is the renowned historian of the Halifax Explosion and considered to be the authority on that horrific event.

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A view of the Old North End – early 1970s

I found this picture today amongst some old photos while home visiting my parents. This photo was taken on one of the higher floors of Sunrise Manor on Gottingen Street. It shows the length of Creighton Street with the centre of the picture being the corner of Creighton Street and Buddy Daye Street.

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The photo was taken sometime after 1971 as Fenwick Tower can be seen in the background along with 5670 Spring Garden Road (built in 1967); the Tupper Building on College Street (built in 1966) and the Abbey Lane. This is also pre-construction of the Gordon B. Isnor Manor building on Cornwallis Street between Creighton and Maynard. I’m not quite sure when the Gordon B. was built but the real life Gordon B. Isnor died in 1973 so I assume it was built after his death.

The blue house in the forefront with the mansard roof with the small peaked roofed house still stands today, however the roof of the blue house has been capped.

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The houses that are opposite of the above houses which are clearly visible in the photo have been demolished and the remaining section of this block of Creighton has been turned into town house style housing (public housing?).

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This famous picture of three children playing on Creighton Street shows what I believe to be the remaining section of this block of the street. The four houses that are prominent in this photo and look like they are falling over are cut out of the the photo I found, but you can clearly see the next two houses, especially the large square houses with what looks like a passage way in the middle of the first floor.

Would love if people who grew up in the neighbourhood could share their photos?? Always willing to highlight them on the blog.

(photo sources: author; Google Maps and the Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management).