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January 4, 2021

Anonymous Sign Appears on Rubin Block; Campaigns for Renovation of Building

A mysterious sign has appeared on the Rubin Block at 270 Morley Street, penned by a South Osborne resident concerned for the future of the historic building. Constructed in 1914, the Rubin Block has been a significant part of South Osborne streetscape for the past century. With a little love and care, the Rubin Block could remain a landmark for many more years. Unfortunately, once the building was vacated in 2014, many have grown concerned the building will be left to fall into disrepair. Heritage Winnipeg and concerned community members have made continued efforts to push for the rehabilitation of the building since 2014, including a petition and an open letter to the City of Winnipeg.

Others have taken a different approach. The first of these anonymous letters appeared in 2018, plastered along a boarded up window on the Rubin Block.


An anonymous letter was posted outside of the Rubin Block at 270 Morley Street in 2018. Source: Global News. The text reads: Dear Owner of this building, This is not just a building. I will design you a composite. It is styled with a block for merchants, such as the little gems that have flown the coop. Its fabric holds an entrance where a part of Morley and Osborne, Joseph, and Max and Rubin reside. It is covered with a blank stein where honey Bees could hive and fireflies rest. They say, sewn in the cellar is a safe that banks a story awaiting to be told. Owner, this is not just a building. It clothes my community; it is in tatters, and I need it to be addressed. Sincerely, S.O. Resident.


Now, just over two years later, a second letter has appeared. Combining emotion, history, and clever wordplay this letter is an evocative plea to save an important historic structure.

The open letter posted on the Rubin Block in December 2020. Text reads: Dear Owner of Rubin Block, This building is three stories tall. The first story began a hundred years ago, when a Young Man decided to scribe his own tale, and he plotted by sail and rail to this Novel city. Here, he drew a home for himself, and a thousand and one others, including this structure. Later, he took the avenue to pen his son’s name, Morley. In the second story, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times, and a Family of Great Fortune and Mystery procured this setting. They forgot the moral of the parable: if in the right hand is privilege, responsibility is left. Now, chapters letter, the narrative printed in The paper is that neglect is a symbol of demolition, and Rubin Block was sentenced as endangered. Period. The third was of a rise of The Meta Four, who on a dark and stormy night, composed a letter to dialogue with the Dear Owner. Owner foiled the words with ink and the page dyed. The characters exclaimed, and ironically, a black heart was alit! Unedited, another Ensemble doctored comedy on the subject with a pair of graphs. All the heroes’ play denoted that they were both fighter and lover types. In conclusion, is this a foreshadow to a climax or resolution? What answer to the quest will you write for Rubin Block, Dear Owner? The implement is in your hands. Yours Truly, South Osborne Resident (and other protagonists)

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