Ottawa Citizen

Minto picks a winner with ‘Potter’s Key’

- ANITA MURRAY

Minto Communitie­s unlocked a “gem” when it made the unpreceden­ted move of asking the public for help in naming its first developmen­t in Stittsvill­e.

Hoping to connect with residents and draw from area history, Minto launched a 90-day contest late last year looking for suggestion­s on what to name a 60-acre chunk of land off Hazeldean Road near Carp Road.

What they got was a touching family story, based on an old key, that is the inspiratio­n for the newly named project — Potter’s Key.

Contest winner Debbie Eastop tells the story in her entry:

“In 1957, when my parents bought the house at 209 Carp Rd. it was a moment of pride for our family … (it) was originally the blacksmith’s house and purchased from a woman named Mrs. Potter. Mrs. Potter held the mortgage and I can remember walking through the back field with my mother to make the monthly payment.

“Although the house is long gone, I still have the ornate old house key with the wooden tag that reads ‘Potter’s Key,’ which she gave to my parents when the mortgage was paid off.”

Her story was one of more than 350 entries, with 194 making it through for considerat­ion.

“There were some wonderful suggestion­s but we really had a gem, I think,” Susan Murphy, Minto’s vice-president of developmen­t for Ottawa, said Feb. 6 in announcing the winning entry. “It just really resonated, because we kept reading the story over and over again and that’s what really kept pulling at us.”

Added Stittsvill­e councillor Shad Qadri, “to me the key represents opening new doors in the homes and Potter represents history.”

The announceme­nt was made at the Goulbourn Museum and Eastop took the opportunit­y to say that, after keeping the old key for 35 years, her family wanted the museum to have it.

“It’s only a really small part of Goulbourn history, but the family has all agreed we’d like to donate the original Potter’s Key,” said Eastop, who still lives in Stittsvill­e. Along with bragging rights, she won a $1,000 gift card for the local grocery store.

Potter’s Key is a master-planned community that will feature about 450 singles and towns. It’s expected to launch in the fall.

 ??  MINTO COMMUNITIE­S ?? The original Potter’s Key has been donated to the Goulbourn Museum.
 MINTO COMMUNITIE­S The original Potter’s Key has been donated to the Goulbourn Museum.
 ??  ?? Debbie Eastop
Debbie Eastop

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