One of the most important decisions to make when you retire is where you will live. While some will be happy to retire in their current hometown, others will use retirement as an opportunity to move.
There are plenty of great places to choose from in Ontario with attractive amenities and lifestyles to suit all tastes. Although some places in Ontario are expensive, there are retirement options to suit different budgets.
To help you get started, we have compiled a list of the best places to retire in Ontario.
What is Ontario Like?
Ontario is on the east-central side of the country and is one of the ten provinces in Canada. While Ottawa is the capital of Canada, Toronto is the capital of Ontario and the biggest city in the country. Other than Toronto and Ottawa, there are many vibrant cities with a range of shops, restaurants, arts, and culture in Ontario. The province is also known for Niagara Falls and its breathtaking scenery.
The quality of life is high in Ontario and there is a balance of city living and rural countryside. Wherever you are in Ontario, you will find plenty of outdoor space. Winters in Ontario are long, with snow on the ground for almost half of the year. However, the summer temperatures can climb to over 30 degrees Celsius.
Below, you will find a list of the best places to retire in Ontario in alphabetical order.
If you are looking for a quiet and small place to retire, then Carp is an ideal option with a population of just 1,965. The median age in Carp is 45.6 and the median house price was $832,917 in November 2023.
Carb is a quiet rural suburb on a riverfront and benefits from proximity to Ottawa. It is around 30 minutes from the country’s capital with all its amenities and excellent healthcare facilities. The Carp Commons Retirement Village offers comfortable living in the area.
Cobourg is a small town with 20,094 residents and a high percentage of senior citizens with 37% of residents in Cobourg being over 65. The median age in Cobourg is 53.8 and the average home cost $764,147 in November 2023.
The town is located by a lake between Toronto and Kingston and is a great place for anyone wishing to retire near water. The cost of living here is cheaper, which makes it more attractive for retirees on smaller budgets. There is an active art scene and lots of trails for cycling and hiking.
The Northumberland Hills Hospital offers excellent healthcare for the residents of this small town and there are several communities retired people can choose from, including Rosewood Estates Gracious Retirement Living and Cobourg Retirement Residence.
Collingwood is located on the southernmost tip of Georgian Bay and is home to 24,127 people. 30% of the residents are over 65 and the median age is 48.9. The average home price is $801,835 (November 2023). Collingwood gets busy during the peak tourism season because of its proximity to attractions such as Wasaga Beach and Blue Mountain.
Collingwood is a sought-after destination for retirees in Ontario, with its friendly community and accessible amenities. The residents can rely on the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital for their healthcare and retirement communities in the area include Balmoral Place Retirement Community, Raglan Village Adult & Retirement Community, and Chartwell Georgian Traditions Retirement Residence.
17% of Guelph’s 141,125 residents are aged over 65 years. The median age in the city is 37.8. Property in Guelph is expensive, with the average home costing $805,788 in November 2023.
Guelph is one of the fastest-growing cities in Canada and it is consistently ranked as one of the best places to retire in Ontario. The city boasts a clean environment and a high standard of living. It is culturally diverse and has plenty of entertainment options.
Residents in Guelph benefit from great medical facilities with St Joseph’s Health Centre and the Guelph General Hospital being two of the best healthcare facilities in the city. Retirement communities in Guelph include Guelph Lake Commons, Elliot Lake Retirement Living, and the Village of Arbour Trails.
The population of Huntsville is 21,010 and 25% of the residents are over 65. The median age in the town is 46.9 and the average home costs $426,667 in the largest town in the Muskoka Region, Huntsville has a low cost of living. It is a great location for people who enjoy watersports with easy access to many lakes. People looking for an active lifestyle will also enjoy exploring the beautiful nature around the town.
Residents of Huntsville have access to the Huntsville District Memorial Hospital and the retirement communities attract many retirees to the area. The communities include Muskoka Landing, Chartwell Muskoka Traditions Retirement Residence, and Country Moments Retirement Home.
Kingston is one of the bigger cities on the list of best retirement places in Ontario with a population of 135,220. It is also one of the cheapest, with the average house costing $664,884 in October 2023. 23% of the population is over 65 years of age and the median age is 40.1.
The city is between Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto and has a wide range of amenities that equal those in the bigger cities. Kingston is on Lake Ontario and is a great option for anyone interested in sailing or other watersports.
Kingston has great healthcare facilities, including the Kingston General Hospital which has the Cancer Center of Southeastern Ontario. Some of the retirement communities in Kingston are Kingsdale Chateau, Revera St. Lawrence Place Retirement Residence, and Royale Place Retirement Residence.
The population of Lakeshore is 36,611 and the median age is 39.9. 14.8% of the town’s residents are over 65. The average house price is $249,000, making it one of the more affordable places to buy a retirement property. It is a town with a high quality of life and has many art galleries, shops, boutiques, and markets to explore.
There are also great recreational activities, including the Atlas Tube Recreation Center which has tennis courts, gyms, and a public library. Lakeshore also offers many opportunities for watersports. The healthcare facilities in Lakeshore are excellent and some of the retirement communities in the town are Seasons Belle River in Lakeshore and La Chaumiere.
London has a population of 511,000 and 19% of the residents are over 65. The median age in the city is 39.1 and the average home cost $602,630 in November 2023. Just like its namesake in the United Kingdom, London, Ontario is on the Thames River.
There are excellent medical facilities in London, including the University Hospital and the Mount Hope Centre for Long-Term Care. People retiring in London might be interested in checking out the retirement communities of Chartwell Retirement Residences, Richmond Woods Retirement Residence, and Windermere on the Mount.
With a population of only 18,652, Niagara-On-The-Lake is the perfect retirement location for anyone looking to retire in a small community. The town has a large population of over 65s with 34% of the residents being 65 or older, and the median age is 55.5. Because the area is so desirable and there are fewer properties available, the average home here costs around $662,269.
Located on the southern end of Georgian Bay, Owen Sound is home to 22,343 people and 30% of the residents are over 65. The median age in Owen Sound is 46.7 and the average home costs $610,625.
It is a lively town with multiple festivals throughout the year and it is close to several natural attractions. The Owen Sound Hospital is an excellent medical facility serving a wide area. It is one of the best places to retire with many retirement communities to choose from. These communities include John Joseph Place, Seasons Owen Sound Retirement Community, and Central Place Retirement Community.
Peterborough, located 125 kilometres northeast of Toronto, is home to 85,163 people. A quarter of the population is over 65 years old and the median age is 42.3. The average home in Peterborough cost $629,988 in November 2023.
Retired residents of Peterborough can take part in several activities and cultural events designed for older adults, which includes a hockey league for people aged between 55 and 80. For healthcare, there is the Peterborough Regional Health Centre, which is a state-of-the-art hospital. There are several retirement communities to choose from in Peterborough, including Empress Gardens Retirement Residence, Canterbury Gardens, and Rubidge Retirement Residence just to mention a few.
Stratford is a great option for anyone looking to retire in a smaller place that still has great amenities. It has a population of 32,906, 24% of the residents are over 65 and the median age in Stratford is 45.4. Home prices are fairly reasonable in Stratford with the average home costing $584,906 in November 2023.
Stratford is a great place for theatre lovers, with its popular Stratford Festival. The city doesn’t have quite the range of medical facilities that bigger cities have, but the Stratford General Hospital provides efficient healthcare. Retirement communities in Stratford include Royal Palisade and River Gardens Retirement Residence.
Thunder Bay is one of the cheaper areas in Ontario to retire in with the average house costing only $355,918, which makes it a great option for people who have a smaller retirement budget. The city is home to 109,739 people and 23% of the residents are aged over 65. The median age in Thunder Bay is 44.3.
The city is on Lake Superior, and it is the largest city in the northwest region of Ontario. There are plenty of exciting outdoor activities to choose from, which makes this an ideal location for retirees looking for an active lifestyle.
The leading medical facility is the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and there are many retirement communities to choose from, which include Chartwell Isabella Retirement Residence and Chartwell Glacier Ridge Retirement Residence.
Tillsonburg, with a population of 16,715 offers its residents a quiet and peaceful lifestyle away from the hustle and bustle of big cities. 32% of the town’s residents are aged 65 and over and the median age is 48.6. The average home price in Tillsonburg was $663,536 in November 2023.
Property taxes are low in Tillsonburg, and it is a very safe town with a low crime rate. The Tillson Community Centre Complex has several amenities which include an indoor swimming pool. The Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital takes care of the residents’ medical needs and there are several retirement communities, which include Harvest Crossing Retirement Community, Dayspring Residence, and Tillsonburg Retirement Residence.
If you are looking to retire somewhere different from where you are presently living, there are plenty of attractive choices in Ontario, ranging from small rural suburbs to bigger towns. They all offer high standards of living for a range of retirement budgets.
All towns on this list have many attractive retirement communities to choose from, offering comfortable living conditions and plenty of company. Wherever you retire in Canada, you will find plenty to do with your free time, ranging from hiking and sailing in the summer to skiing in the winter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some of the cheapest places include Lakeshore and Thunder Bay.
In Tillsonburg, 32% of the residents are over 65, In Owen Sound and Collingwood the percentage is 30%.
Yes, there are plenty of great retirement options in Ontario. With so many locations to choose from, everyone can find a place that suits their lifestyle and budget.