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1912 – Vancouver – People raised chickens in the city then

Rose Belasoff feeding chickens in her back yard, 346 Union Street, Vancouver; [1912] Source: Jewish Museum and Archives of British Columbia; L.8782. See larger image here.

Chickens were allowed in the city then, but not now. The photo above shows Rose Belasoff feeding chickens in her back yard in Vancouver in 1912. Rose’s home is just a block from Chinatown in an old neighbourhood named Strathcona, just a stone’s throw from downtown. Some of the people who started City Farmer in 1978 lived only a block away from this house.

Rose was the younger daughter of Rabbi David Eliezer Belasoff who was born in 1853 in a shtetl near Yekaterinoslav, Ukraine, an industrial city on the Dnieper River midway between Kiev and the Black Sea. Pogroms broke out in the region in 1905. As a result, the Belasoff family immigrated to Canada and in 1908 David began serving as a Rabbi in Vancouver.

See ‘The Rise of Jewish Life and Religion in British Columbia, 1858-1948′ by Cyril Leonoff in The Scribe, The Journal of the Jewish Historical Society of British Columbia, Vol XXVIII 2008, here. Note the book cover photo – Rose at her wedding in 1914.


1 Duncan Martin { 01.05.11 at 9:52 pm }

Given how this was so mainstream — and no big deal — back then, it’s amazing how much opposition there is every time a municipality tries to pass a chicken bylaw.

2 Kim Goldberg { 11.13.11 at 9:28 am }

Lovely photo! Thanks for sharing it. :)