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.


8 thoughts on “Get to know your neighbours – Henry Kitz 187 Brunswick Street

  1. I grew up on Falkland Street. Do you have any old photos of Falkland St?

    Sent from our iPad Gary and Cathy Thorne

    • Hi Gary , Gerard Dugas and Theresa here. Just noticed your post and thought of you; ? might be interested in the historical western union cable office building site in north Sydney I just finished tearing down today. I am trying to draft up a 8 unit or so condo for this lot. It has been in the cape Breton post news since June 30. If interested give me a call 456-4925

  2. It’s possible that “Austria” meant the “Austro-Hungarian Empire”, part of which became part of Poland after WW I, so it’s possible that both the marriage and death records detailing his place of birth are correct! That would narrow down the part of Europe he was from, however both locations could just as readily be wrong, further investigation would be needed!

  3. I am looking for the house where I first lived. It was an old military officer’s barracks on the corner of Brunswick and Gerrish Streets diagonally across from the Old Dutch Church. Can anyone help me. It was a two storey with a huge set of stairs under an overhang from the second floor.

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