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Six of the Best Cities to Retire in Canada

By Quality Move Management Inc / April 30, 2018

Choosing where you want to retire is not as plain sailing as choosing a country or city that you have visited as a holiday destination. There are a number of considerations that you should bear in mind to find best the retirement town or city for you, and to guarantee that you make the most out of your golden retirement years.

An ideal retirement town or city should encompass a sense of personal security, plentiful of easy access healthcare institutions, respectable costs for everyday living, recreational and cultural amenities and a manageable climate, to name but a few.

With all crucial retirement factors considered, we have ranked some of Canada’s ultimate cities to live if you are moving to Canada for retirement, or cross country moving to enjoy a change of scenery.

6. Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

The name for this high-end, picturesque town originates from where you might think, it is situated within striking distance of the acclaimed Niagara Falls. The retired population of Niagara-on-the-Lake is constantly on the rise due to its moderate climate and the endless ways to fill your free days if you like to be “on-the-go.”

Niagara-on-the-Lake is perfect for Canadian retirees wanting to live a life of high society, with an abundance of luxury restaurants, heritage properties and historic sites, galleries and museums to explore. The community is located in heart of Ontario’s wine hub, so you can visit more vineyards for wine tasting days than you can handle!

5. Stratford, Ontario

If you a retiree with a love of arts, culture and… Shakespeare, you will find that Stratford is one of the best places to live in Canada. The Stratford Shakespeare Festival takes place each year, showcasing the finest work from the poet, with world famous actors performing in a number of Shakespeare’s plays. There is also a Shakespearean Garden for you to wonder and plenty of galleries, museums and regular theatre productions.

Stratford was once crowned the prettiest city in the world, and with good reason. The city is located on the Avon River has the city has an abundance of greenspaces and parks, as well as some stunning historic architecture and postcard-worthy homes.

There are approximately 3.19 doctors per 1000 residents in Stratford which is higher than the national average, crime rates are low and property tax is 2.28%, not the lowest but certainly not the highest and property prices and rental rates are healthy.

Stratford doesn’t have the mildest of winters considering January and February have average temperatures of -6°C, but when you do make it to the other side, Autumns are extremely pleasant temperatures and summer could welcome an average of 19°C.

4. Kelowna, British Columbia

The biggest drawing point for retiring in Kelowna is the weather. After potentially battling through severe Canadian winters for many years, you might be looking for something a bit milder during your retirement years… Americans moving to Canada also move in search of the gentlest winter they can find.

Kelowna is one of the best places to retire in Canada if you love the outdoors, nature and greenery, situated on the Okanagan Lake, you can spend your days meandering pine forests, tasting the finest home-made wine from one of the cities many vineyards, hike mountains, explore orchards or laze in a park.

Looking at the practicalities of retired life in the city, Kelowna has a relatively low rate of property tax at 1.48%, approximately 2.48 doctors per 1000 residents, which although isn’t the best, it also isn’t the worst. Public transport in the city is fairly priced as well as reliable, and Kelowna International Airport operates domestic and international flights to visit friends, family or holiday.

3. Kingston, Ontario

Also known as the Limestone city, Kingston sits alongside the St. Lawrence and Cataraqui rivers, its idyllic settings, healthcare facilities and amenities are just some of the contributing factors of why Kingston is one of the best cities to retire in Canada, and has a higher retired population than the Canadian average.

Healthcare is one of Kingston’s major industries and so the city has the highest ratio of doctors in the country with approximately 4.56 doctor’s per1000 residents, with a world-class hospital, multiple doctor’s surgeries and healthcare facilities.

There is plenty to keep you occupied in Kingston, as the once labelled “most romantic city in Canada” has a swath of history, landmark architecture, museums, fine-dining and culinary delights, all at your fingertips.  If you are moving to Canada from the US, you will take comfort in Kingston’s close proximity to the border, so close in fact that you can cross the border into New York State within a one hour drive.

2. Ottawa, Ontario

Runner up for retiring in Canada is the country’s capital city, Ottawa.

Taking a number of factors into consideration such as economy, home affordability, tax, crime rate and health accessibility, MoneySense identified Ottawa as offering its residents the highest quality of lifestyle and ranking it as one of the best places to live in Canada, but how does this fare for its retired residents?

Due to the fact Ottawa is the capital of Canada; property taxes are naturally slightly higher at 2.08% by average, albeit by no means the highest in the country, but the fair and just real estate values more than make up for this.

Winter temperatures do commonly stoop below average in the Capital, with the average temps declining to -6 °C, - 10°C and -9°C during December, January and February respectively. Equally, you do have three quarters of the year with either pleasant, or beautiful, weather and the height of summer can see an average of 22°C. During the warmer days you can enjoy the grounds of one of the city’s many parks or greenspaces, a hoard of museums, galleries, attractions and easy access to all the conveniences and amenities you would need.

  1. Victoria, British Columbia

Taking the crown on our list of best places to retire in Canada is Victoria, British Columbia. There are a multitude of reasons why Victoria has taken our prized first position, firstly being low property tax. At just 0.82%, Victoria has one of the lowest rates of property tax across the whole country, beneficial to new retirees adjusting to their new income. Victoria boasts world-class hospitals, doctors’ surgeries with approximately 3.31 doctors per 1000 residents, physiotherapists, community care services, dentists and any other health care facility that you might need, all in easy from all corners of the city.

The city welcomes a mild year-round climate thanks to its south-westerly, with averages of a relatively pleasant 8° in December and January and the peak summer months of July and August reaching a warm yet bearable average of 20°C.  

You can spend your retirement days wandering the nature of the city, such as Butchart Gardens, Abkhazi Garden, Clover Point Park and Mount Tolmie Park. You can soak up the sun and enjoy the sea breeze at one of Victoria’s beaches, Sandcut Beach, Sidney Pit or Gonzales Beach, for example, or if it is more to your tastes, you can go whale watch, attend one of the many annual festivals, visit a museum, the list goes on.

Whether you are moving to Canada from the US to enjoy a more relaxed retirements, or from anywhere in the world, or moving within Canada for a fresh start, QMM are one of the leading cross country movers in Canada who can help you relocate to your new home with ease and free of stress.

We take care of your move from start to finish, meaning you won’t lift a finger and you can begin enjoying your retirement before you even more. So if you are looking one of the most reliable cross country moving companies in Canada, contact us today to see how we can help!


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