Tag Archives: pig vote

The Pig Vote of 1873

The Pig Vote of 1873


The Issue Was One of “Pig Pens or No Pig Pens.” There are various kinds of “votes” in the present day to which the astute civic politician lends a listening ear. But the aldermen of the seven ties had an additional “vote” to look after.

That was the “pig” vote.

In those days every third man or so, kept a pig or pigs. Those who did not like the noise or odor of the pigs and did not keep any, naturally raised a row about the keeping of pics within the city limits and filed petitions with the city council. But as such a large number of people kept pigs and had votes at election time, the Aldermen were not in any hurry to order the abolition of the pigs.

The Citizen of May 20, 1873. the following editorial paragraph appeared:

“The city fathers appear to be afraid of the ‘poor man’s pig.’ They would prefer to have a pestilence in the city and endorse the stinking nuisance under their bedroom windows rather than inconvenience the swine or lose the votes of their owners.”

However, in the 1880s the anti-pig citizens prevailed and the council passed a bylaw which provided that “between the 15th of May and the first of November, no hog shall be kept within the limits of the municipality except in pens 70 feet from Bny house, with floors kept free from any standing water and regularly cleansed and disinfected.” This clause automatically put a lot of pig pens out of existence as there were only a few lots sufficiently deep enough to permit of that distance from a dwelling. 

CLIPPED FROMThe British WhigKingston, Ontario, Canada11 Jun 1873, Wed  •  Page 2

The Daily Expositor
Brantford, Ontario, Canada
30 Aug 1873, Sat  •  Page 3

Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
05 Jul 1873, Sat  •  Page 1

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