Canada offers plenty of the best places to retire. Ontario is a particular favourite among Canadian retirees because of the wealth of options available.
It’s not that every retiree will find Ontario the best for retirement. However, several towns in Ontario offer attractive amenities and lifestyles that suit many retirees with a retirement plan in Canada.
Where you retire can make a world of difference in how you can enjoy your golden years. If you’re nearing retirement and considering your options, I have created a list of the best places to retire in Ontario based on demographics, amenities, and the things you can do there.
Ontario is one of the 10 Canadian provinces located on the east-central side of the country. It’s one of the most populous places, boasting one of Canada’s most significant cities, Toronto. Toronto is the capital of Ontario and the financial hub of the country. The massive city boasts diversity, as people of various cultures live throughout Ontario.
Ontario is not just in the heart of finance in Canada; it also features a beautiful environment that has captured the interest of tourists worldwide. From mesmerizing parks, forests, and greenery to the famous Niagara Falls, Ontario is a sight to behold and a remarkable place to call “home”.
While many people consider Toronto the star attraction in Ontario, the high living costs might deter you from choosing it as the place you want to retire. After all, once you retire, you aren’t earning an active income, and spending a good chunk of your retirement funds on living expenses would not be ideal.
Fortunately, many cities and small towns around the major metropolitan areas in Ontario offer a lower cost of living and slower pace of life that’s more suitable for retirees.
Here are my picks for the best places to retire in Ontario (in no specific order) that you could consider:
London, Ontario is one of the best places to retire in Ontario and has the largest population compared to other places on the list.
The beautiful city sits on the Thames River, featuring nine main parks that are linked by trails. London is home to excellent medical facilities, including the University Hospital, Victoria Hospital & Children’s Hospital, and Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care.
It also boasts different retirement communities designed for older Canadian citizens, namely, Chartwell Retirement Residence, Richmond Woods Retirement Residence, and Windermere on the Mount.
Stratford is a quiet little down and is considered one of the best places to retire in Ontario, especially if you love theatre. Boasting the very popular Stratford Festival, the town is located on the Avon River in Southwestern Ontario. In terms of medical facilities, the closest facility is Stratford General Hospital.
Stratford is home to several retirement communities designed to help Canadian retirees live a comfortable retired life, including Royal Palisade, Chartwell Anne Hathaway Retirement Residence, and River Gardens Retirement Residence.
Located 125 kilometres northeast of Toronto in central Ontario, Peterborough is a bustling city that attracts many seniors who want to retire in Ontario. The city features several activities and cultural events suitable for older adults, including a hockey league with retirees between 55 and 80.
Peterborough is also called the “Electric City” because it was one of the first places in the region to have electric street lights. The city boasts the Peterborough Regional Health Centre, a state-of-the-art hospital providing a wide range of services.
As one of the best places to retire in Ontario, it has several retirement communities, including Applewood Retirement Residence, Chartwell Jackson Creek Retirement Residence, Empress Gardens Retirement Residence, Princess Gardens Retirement Residence, Canterbury Gardens Retirement Residence, Royal Gardens Retirement Residence, Rubidge Retirement Residence, and Kawartha Heights Retirement Living, to name a few.
Also called “The Royal City”, Guelph is a city that is growing at a rapid pace in Canada. The city boasts a clean environment, offers a high standard of living, and is consistently ranked as one of the best places to retire in Ontario.
The culturally diverse population and entertainment options make it an attractive location for people of all ages. The Guelph General Hospital and St. Joseph’s Health Centre are two of the best medical facilities in the city.
Guelph is one of the best places to retire in Ontario because it features several retirement communities, including The Village of Arbour Trails, Guelph Lake Commons, Chartwell Royal on Gordon Retirement Residence, and Elliot Lake Retirement Living.
Niagara-on-the-Lake is not a large city, making it an instant favourite for many people who want to move away from the hustle and bustle of big cities.
It’s one of the best places to retire in Ontario for a host of different reasons. If you’re a wine lover, you will probably fall in love with the place because of its reputation for producing some of the best wines worldwide.
Just under half an hour away from Niagara Falls, the small town offers a wonderful lifestyle for Canadian retirees. The closest medical facility is the regional hospital in St. Catharines. Niagara-on-the-Lake also boasts retirement communities like the River Road Retirement Residence, Stamford Estates, and Chateau Gardens Niagara LTC, making it an excellent place for retirees.
Cobourg is a small lakeside town located between Toronto and Kingston. Its mesmerizing waterfront makes it one of the best places to retire in Ontario.
You will find many tourists frequenting the lakeside town because of the stunning views. In terms of retiring here, Cobourg offers low living costs, making it even more attractive. It also boasts an active art scene and plenty of trails for cycling and hiking.
The town has an excellent medical facility in the Northumberland Hills Hospital and features retirement communities like Cobourg Retirement Residence, Rosewood Estates Gracious Retirement Living, and Palisade Gardens Retirement Community.
Kingston sits between Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto, offering a wide range of amenities that you usually only find in the larger cities. The town has a larger population than many of the other entries on this list, and it is considered one of the best places for sailing.
Located on the eastern side of Lake Ontario, Kingston offers a low cost of living and a significant population of retirement-aged citizens.
Kingston is home to the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario, which is located at Kingston General Hospital. The retirement communities in the town include Revera St. Lawrence Place Retirement Residence, Kingsdale Chateau, and Royale Place Retirement Residence.
Thunder Bay is the largest city in Ontario’s northwest region and was initially established as a fur trading post. The city has a sizable population of retirees and is located off the shore of Lake Superior.
If you like the sun, you will love Thunder Bay. You will also have access to several exciting outdoor activities, which is ideal if you want to enjoy a more active retired life.
The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is the leading medical facility in the region. Thunder Bay also offers several retirement communities, including Chartwell Isabella Retirement Residence, Chartwell Thunder Bay Retirement Residence, and Chartwell Glacier Ridge Retirement Residence.
If the ideal place for you to retire is a small town that offers a quiet and peaceful life, Tillsonburg might be a good option to consider. The town boasts a very small population, low property taxes, and a low crime rate. It also features the Tillson Community Centre Complex that offers several amenities you might like, including an indoor swimming pool.
The Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital is an excellent medical facility. You can also find several retirement communities, including Dayspring Residence, Harvest Crossing Retirement Community, and Tillsonburg Retirement Residence.
Collingwood is another quaint town in Ontario with a small population. Located on the southernmost tip of Georgian Bay, Collingwood attracts many tourists each year because it provides easy access to several attractions, including Blue Mountain and Wasaga Beach.
The town has a sizeable percentage of retirement-age residents and is considered a sought-after destination.
The Collingwood General and Marine Hospital is an excellent medical facility. The town also boasts retirement communities, such as Balmoral Place Retirement Community, Chartwell Georgian Traditions Retirement Residence, and Raglan Village Adult & Retirement Community.
Owen Sound can be found on the southern shore of Georgian Bay and is popular for tourists because of its several natural attractions. It also hosts multiple festivals throughout the year, making it an attractive place for retirees and tourists.
The Owen Sound Hospital is an excellent medical facility that serves a wide area. The town also features several retirement communities that make it one of the best places to retire in Ontario, including John Joseph Place, Seasons Owen Sound Retirement Community, and Central Place Retirement Community.
The largest town in the Muskoka Region, Huntsville is considered one of the best places to retire in Ontario for several reasons. It offers easy access to multiple lakes and is a popular destination with many beautiful and scenic natural locations. The low living costs in the town also make it an attractive option for Canadian retirees.
The Huntsville District Memorial Hospital is the primary medical facility in the area. Huntsville also boasts several retirement communities, including Muskoka Landing, Country Moments Retirement Home, and Chartwell Muskoka Traditions Retirement Residence.
The earlier you start preparing for your retirement, the better. Remember that the best possible options to suit your requirements as a retiree will depend on your preferences and your finances. Learn about how to start investing in Canada through my guide if you’re thinking of putting your savings to work and building a more substantial retirement nest egg.
While my focus in this post was on the best places to retire in Ontario, I understand that not everyone would want to move to Ontario to spend their twilight years.
Fortunately, there are several places that you may find more suitable. Check out my list of the best places to retire in Canada to explore more options.