For seniors across Canada, changing health needs or a retirement lifestyle may necessitate a move. However, choosing a place to call home during retirement can be daunting.
Connection to your chosen community is deeply important and directly linked to your quality of life. Read more about how to find the top Canadian communities during this time.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified eight key areas that make a community age-friendly for seniors:
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Based on this criteria, we believe the following Canadian cities and towns have excelled at building age-friendly communities and provide the best opportunities for seniors to connect with each other and the community around them.
Surrey is the second largest city in British Columbia, with over 500 000 residents. However due to the diverse pockets of neighbourhoods scattered throughout the city, Surrey exudes a charming and close-knit vibrancy you would expect from a small town.
Surrey has dedicated great energy and resources to ensure that seniors are connected within their community. Dedicated activities and recreation programs have been developed for seniors, including book and computer clubs, fitness classes, pickle ball and pottery classes.
In addition to this, there is a senior specific newsletter and neighborhood events organized specifically for seniors, as well as exceptional healthcare and an established transit system.
Moncton offers the perfect mix of accessibility and affordability for seniors. Identified as one of Canada’s best cities in which to retire by 50 Plus Magazine, Moncton has an active Mayor’s Seniors Advisory Committee dedicated to improving the community connection and quality of life for seniors living in the city.
Additional age-friendly initiatives introduced by this committee include:
Housing costs are some of the lowest in the country, while Moncton’s healthcare facilities are recognized as among the best in Canada. With a strong bilingual presence and within close proximity to the UNESCO Fundy Biosphere Reserve, Moncton is a perfect place for seniors to call home during their retirement years.
Kingston has taken great strides to develop an age-friendly community to meet the needs of the nearly 44% of the population who are in, or will be entering the “older adult” classification within the next decade.
Kingston City Council has made it a top priority to improve access to healthcare and community supports to allow older adults to live in their homes longer, be actively involved in the community, be informed of local happenings and feel respected and integrated. The city is also known for boasting one of the highest physician-to-patient ratios in Ontario.
Listed as one of UNESCO’s 15 Most Beautifully Designed Cities in the World, Montreal is an eclectic mix of modern age accessibility with old-world charm. “The City of Design” features stunning architecture and artistic design, with 19th century buildings and cobblestone streets. In addition to the vast history, Montreal has a variety of senior’s centres and recreation programs designed for both English and French speaking Canadians.
What makes Montreal great for seniors is that there are assistance programs for seniors, including grants to support or offset:
Over the past ten years, Saskatoon has identified itself as the leader of age-friendly community inclusion for seniors in the province of Saskatchewan. Not only are all existing and future planned outdoor buildings and spaces being redesigned to be more age-friendly, but transportation has also been revamped with seniors in mind.
Five additional taxi licenses have been distributed throughout the city, resulting in a total of 21 handicap licenses, and automated communication on city buses has been introduced to engage seniors. Senior-friendly education for emergency responders has been developed, as well as access to excellent healthcare.
What’s most important to you when selecting a place to retire in Canada? We’d love to hear a list of your favorite Canadian communities for seniors in the comments below.