Billy Bolychuk wants to return decades-old letters he found in a box that was donated to Habitat for Humanity in Toronto to their rightful owners – who lived in South Surrey at the time the letters were written. (Contributed photo)

Cross-country quest for owner of decades-old letters arrives in South Surrey

Toronto man hopes to return ‘lost treasure’ to family

Letters found in a donation box in Ontario are a mystery that spans both decades and miles – but appears to have roots on the Semiahmoo Peninsula.

And, a Toronto man has made it his mission to reunite the touching missives with either the woman who wrote them, or a member of her family.

Billy Bolychuk told Peace Arch News that the dozen or so messages were discovered about a month ago, in a box of donated items that were dropped off to Habitat for Humanity, where he began volunteering 2½ years ago.

The envelopes are addressed to a Mr. and Mrs. B. Williams, on Toronto’s North Carson Street, and one letter tells the writer’s parents about a new address for the family – from White Rock to the 14400-block of 17 Ave. in South Surrey – that was to take effect March 1, 1983.

The writer, who Bolychuk said is named Nancy, shares an update on baby Kieran, who has come down with “the croup”; she also exudes excitement about “a really good deal on appliances” that she and husband Brian got for their new home.

Bolychuk said he went to the Toronto-area home that the letters were addressed to but learned only that the recipients had passed away.

He reached out to Explore White Rock, whose officials suggested he contact PAN.

Bolychuk described the idea of reuniting the letters with their rightful owner as exciting.

“I think it would be like finding a lost treasure for them,” the father of two told PAN by email.

PAN was unable to connect with residents of the South Surrey address noted in the 1983 letter by press deadline Tuesday.

Anyone with information that could help identify the letter writer may contact Bolychuk at

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The letters were addressed to a Mr. & Mrs. B. Williams in Toronto. (Contributed photo)

An excerpt from one of the letters, dated Feb. 21, 1983. (Contributed photo)

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