A pair of Stittsville homebuilders have been advertising the new Poole Creek Village as being in the “Heart of Kanata”, but the neighbourhood is actually smack dab in the middle of Stittsville.
Tamarack Homes and Tartan Homes are jointly developing the new subdivision on Maple Grove Road just west of Huntmar. Full-page newspaper ads and tweets promoting the project have some residents – and Stittsville’s city councillor – suggesting they get a new map.
So is “Stittsville” a dirty word in local real estate?
“I think it’s just a marking play,” says Stittsville-based real estate agent Shane Foley. “Kanata is bigger and more recognizable. Stittsville isn’t a dirty word but some might think Stittsville is too far out. Kanata seems closer.”
“I don’t think Stittsville is a dirty word but Kanata probably carries a little more cachet, Like Kanata Lakes does over Kanata or Stonebridge over Barrhaven,” says Gord McCormick, a realtor with Oasis Realty. “Even in my own advertising on facebook, I get heaps more hits if I advertise something with a Kanata headline than a Stittsville headline.”
Heidi Hayley, Tartan’s marketing manager, says that homebuyers identify Poole Creek Village as being more associated with Kanata than Stittsville.
“When we promoted our latest community Poole Creek as being part of Stittsville it did create a bit of confusion…. We adjusted our messaging to make its location more clear and in doing so meant no disrespect to Stittsville – a community that we have invested in for many years,” she wrote in an email to StittsvilleCentral.ca.
Hayley says Tartan will be including the Stittsville name in future marketing.
“We at Tartan Homes has been committed to the beautiful Village of Stittsville for many years most notably with our Jackson Trails community that we proudly promoted as being part of Main Street Stittsville,” she wrote.
(Tamarack Homes did not respond to a request for comment before our deadline, but a sales rep did email to say that she always promotes Stittsville in conversations with potential homebuyers. “They need to know where and what amenities are available surrounding our new community,” she says. “Kanata is a part of this due to the proximity but the flavour of Stittsville is unique.”)
City Councillor Shad Qadri has reminded a number of businesses in the area that they are in fact in Stittsville, and not Kanata. For example, all the big box stores on Hazeldean west of the Carp River are part of Stittsville Ward, but many still list their location as Kanata. The Walmart at the corner of Fernbank and Terry Fox is also a Stittsville business, even though they promote themselves as being in Kanata South.
Qadri says it’s important that the proper name be used so that the heritage of Stittsville is respected within the larger city of Ottawa.
“The community is proud of the name of Stittsville and that pride should be conveyed to residents moving into the area in new developments as well,” he says. “The sense of community is established when residents and businesses can identify with their community name.”
As for Poole Creek Village – named after the waterway that meanders through Stittsville and once supported a village mill – the developers will be making changes to their ads soon.
“I have been in contact with the Poole Creek developers, Tartan and Tamarack Homes and they have advised they will be making some adjustments to their marketing to include the name Stittsville,” he says.
ODDS AND ENDS:
- Qadri says that some properties in Stittsville are provided with Kanata postal codes, which can cause a problem. “One aspect causing confusion is that Canada Post does not use boundaries that align with the City of Ottawa ward structure,” he says. “As new commercial and residential developments are constructed in Stittsville I have approached these businesses to ensure they are aware they are located in Stittsville and have requested they reflect this in their marketing.”
- Qadri also says he’s worked with city staff to make sure that Stittsville place signs are located at boundary points between Kanata and Stittsville so that it’s clear where one ward ends and the other begins.
- Back in February, Tartan was promoting Pool Creek as being in the “Middle of Everywhere”. Now that’s more like it.