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These are the 5 top places to retire in Ontario

Ontario offers a plethora of senior-friendly towns that provide all the amenities and activities needed for a truly fulfilling retirement.

As retirement age approaches, thoughts of downsizing and finding the perfect retirement spot begin to take shape. For many, the allure of major cities fades away as they seek a peaceful and comfortable lifestyle.

Those considering retirement should look no further than Ontario, one of Canada's premier retirement destinations, offering a plethora of senior-friendly towns that provide all the amenities and activities needed for a truly fulfilling retirement.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

If you're ready to explore the top places to retire in Ontario, Moving Waldo has ranked the top spots based on three key criteria: housing affordability, hospital proximity, and the percentage of seniors aged 65 and above. The data was meticulously collected from reputable sources such as Statistics Canada, The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), and Zumper.

In addition to these factors, the quality of life was taken into consideration. Elements such as health, pollution levels, access to green spaces and recreational activities, as well as climate, played vital roles in determining the overall appeal of these retirement destinations.

Moving Waldo

1. Peterborough

Peterborough Lift Lock via Peterborough & The Kawarthas
  • Population: 147,681
  • Proportion of seniors: 25.2%
  • Closest hospital: Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC)
  • Average house sale price: $675,100
  • Average rent price (1-bedroom): $1,600 

When you ask Canadians about their top retirement picks, Peterborough consistently takes the lead. Conveniently nestled between Toronto and Ottawa, Peterborough boasts a prime location. The city is home to a vibrant elderly population actively engaged in the community. Alongside exceptional retirement communities, Peterborough offers affordable housing options, enabling retirees to maintain their independence.

2. Chatham-Kent

Downtown Chatham-Kent via Tripadvisor
  • Population: 104,316
  • Proportion of seniors: 23.6%
  • Closest hospital: Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA)
  • Average house sale price: $389,318
  • Average rent price (1-bedroom): $1,578 

Discover the hidden gem of Chatham-Kent, situated in the picturesque "Banana Belt" of southwestern Ontario. Embracing four distinct seasons, this region enjoys mild weather throughout the year. Chatham-Kent appeals to both families and retirees, offering a harmonious blend of arts, entertainment, and outdoor activities. Whether you enjoy golfing, boating, fishing, hunting, bird watching, or even snowmobiling during the winter months, Chatham-Kent has it all.

3. Collingwood

Sunset Point Park,  Dave West Photography via Town of Collingwood
  • Population: 24,811
  • Proportion of seniors: 30.0%
  • Closest hospital: Collingwood General and Marine Hospital
  • Average house sale price: $578,600
  • Average rent price (1-bedroom): $2,050

With easy access to the stunning Wasaga Beach and majestic Blue Mountain, Collingwood ranks high among Ontario's premier retirement destinations. The city boasts a significant population of retirees who relish the charm and tranquility it provides. Collingwood is also home to the well-regarded Collingwood General and Marine Hospital, ensuring residents have access to quality healthcare.

4. Brampton

Brampton City Centre via City of Brampton
  • Population: 656,480
  • Proportion of seniors: 12.5%
  • Closest hospital: William Osler Health System’s Brampton Civic Hospital
  • Average house sale price: $1,098,200
  • Average rent price (1-bedroom): $2,000

Brampton, a city committed to providing vibrant and safe surroundings, offers a multitude of services and opportunities. The population of Brampton is diverse and steadily growing. The number of seniors in the area witnessed a remarkable 40% increase from 2011 to 2016, with a current count of 90,000 seniors calling Brampton home. Retirement homes in Brampton cater to various levels of care, ensuring residents can transition smoothly as their needs change. With an abundance of social ties and engaging community events, Brampton fosters an enriching retirement experience.

5. Brighton

Brighton Marina via Northumberland Tourism
  • Population: 12,108
  • Proportion of seniors: 33.1%
  • Closest hospital: Quinte Health Care Belleville General Hospital
  • Average house sale price: $586,000
  • Average rent price (1-bedroom): $2,325 

Undoubtedly, Brighton holds a special place on the retirement map. Seniors in this vibrant community benefit from comprehensive senior services provided by Quinte Access and Community Care Northumberland. Embracing an active lifestyle, retirees can participate in numerous social activities such as joining the Croquet Club, Brighton Lawn Bowling Club, Brighton Computer Club, and other exciting seniors' clubs.

While no single region will suit every retiree's preferences, Ontario offers an array of retirement communities that cater to diverse interests and lifestyles. Your choice of retirement location can significantly impact how you enjoy your golden years. Therefore, ensure to select a community that aligns with your unique needs and desires. Whether you seek picturesque beauty, an active social scene, or convenient healthcare facilities, Ontario has the ideal retirement haven waiting for you.