Bloomex Blog | Ottawa Man Leaves British Town $3.75M to Spend on Flowers
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Friday, August 30, 2013

Ottawa Man Leaves British Town $3.75M to Spend on Flowers

Scenic Sidmouth, England.
Photo via user Johanning on Wikipedia

At Bloomex, we always love stories involving Canadians and flowers. So imagine our surprise today when stumbling across this gem, which is a bit sad, but also pretty delightful.

Keith Owen,  an Ottawa resident, always had a fondness for the small village of Sidmouth, England, between Plymouth and Portsmouth on the English Channel. Owen was born in England but emigrated in 1976, becoming very successful in the financial industry,

So when Owen, divorced and without any children of his own, was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, he donated the money he had saved for his retirement -- which he planned to spend it in Sidmouth, naturally -- to the local civic association.

The story is making headlines around the world. Here's the New York Daily News on this bittersweet story:

blog image
Keith Owen, a former Ottawa
resident, left
£2.3M ($3.75M CDN) to
Sidmouth, England. 

Owen was very clear that the money he left should remain invested and its $180,000 annual interest used to beautify the town.


There's no doubt the British seaside town left a lasting impression on him.

The divorced man had no children and died five years ago. But the money is only trickling through now due to strict inheritance laws for expats.

The Mirror reports that the first wave of planting â?? worth a staggering $260,000 â?? will take place in October.

Daffodils, snowdrops and crocuses will be spread over 50 sites.

For a small seaside town with a population of 15,000, it's probably as grand a gesture as one could make. Owen's legacy will likely ensure that it is a beautiful spot to visit for many years to come.

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