For Canada’s baby boomers, seeking out a place to call home doesn’t just mean looking for the best healthcare providers or the lowest taxes—it means finding a community that offers the most opportunities to enjoy this stage of life to the fullest. For those of you who don’t have a cottage to escape to, here is a list of Canadian communities that more and more boomers are beginning to call home:
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario: only a stone’s throw away from the lively Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake is a retiree’s dream. The home of numerous heritage properties, historic sites and high-end restaurants, it comes as no surprise that the picturesque city in Southern Ontario has been a filming location for many Hollywood films. Plus, Niagara-on-the-Lake’s mild climate is an ideal growing environment, so the surrounding area is filled with countless orchards and vineyards. There’s no better excuse to spend your days cycling from winery to winery to find your new favourite wine.
Stratford, Ontario: the Ontario community has redefined its status in 1953 when it started the now well-known Stratford Shakespeare Festival. Named the ‘prettiest city in the world’ in 1997, arts and culture are in abundance in this community of 30,000, which is located along the Avon River.
Moncton, New Brunswick: although Moncton is the second-largest city in New Brunswick, it’s somewhat small. With all the urban amenities that you might need, the bilingual city of 70,000 maintains the feel of a small community. For outdoor enthusiasts, two national parks, some wildlife preserves and the Hopewell Rocks are all located within an hour’s drive. There’s also Moncton’s popular Centennial Park, which is home to lawn bowling and tennis facilities, as well as lighted cross-country skiing and hiking trails.
Kelowna, British Columbia: after decades of slogging through Canada’s winters, there’s no better reward than moving to the Okanagan. Although Kelowna experiences four seasons, winters are usually mild and summers are hot. A popular retirement location, the area surrounding Okanagan Lake is second-to-none for sailors and water sport enthusiasts.
Cochrane, Alberta: is one of the fastest growing communities in Canada. A short drive from Calgary, the Prairie town is nestled in Alberta’s Bow River Valley, surrounded by breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains. Western enthusiasts will find that the bedroom community is the perfect place for a hobby farm, while adventurers will want to take advantage of the paragliding and cycling opportunities.
Comox, British Columbia: while retirees on Canada’s West Coast are historically known for flocking to Victoria, Comox is becoming an increasingly popular place to settle down. Located on Vancouver Island’s East Coast, it has become known for prime fishing, year-round golfing and wildlife watching. Rich with history, Comox can owe much of its popularity to its sunny summer days—perfect for gardening—and mild winters.
Estevan, Saskatchewan: while British Columbia’s top retirement community boast mild weather, it comes at a cost; namely a surplus of overcast, rainy days. For those looking for greener grass, welcome to Estevan Saskatchewan—Canada’s sunshine capital. With the sunniest days per year, the town of 10,000 also has a strong community vibe. In addition to sporting facilities, including a well-maintained golf course, Estevan has an active theatre group and local arts council. There are countless opportunities to get involved or volunteer.
Kingston, Ontario: is one of the best places for Canadian retirees. This attractive city offers an excellent quality of life, and while its climate is quite cool, it’s sunny for about 45% of the time. Kingston has a reputation for providing quality, affordable healthcare. There are many community services geared towards seniors and crime rates are quite low.
Ottawa, Ontario: the nation’s capital has hot and humid summers and the city is sunny about 46% of the time. Ottawa has the second highest quality of living in the America’s and is also the world’s third cleanest city. There is a good selection of senior centers for both English and French speakers and excellent healthcare and support services.
Burlington, Ontario: the 15.4% of Burlington residents who are of retirement age is quite a bit higher than Canada’s average 13.7%. This lakeside city has a moderate climate with hot and humid summers. Last year, Burlington was ranked 5th on Canada’s best places to live. The city has a wealth of independent-living facilities and services for retirees.
Rimouski, Quebec: is a small and pleasant city on the banks of the Rimouski River in Bas-Saint-Laurent. Winters here are cold, but summers are warm.
Toronto, Ontario: offers an excellent quality of life. It’s sunny 45% of the time and while winters are cold, summers are warm. With its high percentage of residents born outside Canada, Toronto is a perfect place for retirees who love diversity. There is a vast selection of retirement communities and services. However, the city is quite expensive
Salmon Arm, British Columbia: has a much milder climate than most cities in Eastern Canada. This lovely little city is at is best in summer, when the weather is perfect for the beach.
Oakville, Ontario: is ranked 7th on the list of best Canadian cities to live in for 2014. The city sees hot and humid summers and cold winters. Oakville has a young and vibrant population, making it a wonderful place for retirees who prefer to be out and about. However, homes are quite expensive.
Source: Cottage Life & Slice.ca
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