A demolition crew working in the historic Paris Building in Winnipeg uncovered a pile of century-old love letters in the rubble of an old staircase.

The letters date back to June 1918, and are addressed to a Rebecca ‘Becky’ Rousoff of Winnipeg, from a Halifax man who refers to himself as ‘Soko.’

McCor Management, the company in charge of the Paris Building, went public to try to find the people mentioned in the letters.

“It’s like reading a romance novel, except knowing this is real life,” says Sonya Berthin, general manager of the building.

In the letters, Soko waxes poetic about his relationship with Rousoff -- saying, “Whenever I think of you, I feel a perfect well of tenderness pouring from my heart.”

“I feel I could love you until death.”

Soko, real name Hyman Sokolov, ended up marrying Roussoff and having three children with her. He was a prominent Winnipeg lawyer and was the managing editor of the Western Jewish News that once called the Paris Building home.

Rousoff died in the late sixties, Sokolov less than 10 years later.

Sokolov’s grandson, Stephen, now has the letters.

“I think [my grandparents] would be heartened that the people who found the letters cared enough to attempt to contact the family to return them,” he says.

“To have something manifest and physical in someone’s handwriting is really priceless.”


With files from The Canadian Press