The number one place to retire in Canada is Ottawa, at least according to one survey that compared Canadian cities on factors such as property tax rates and number of family doctors per 100,000 people. But the numbers aren’t the only reasons retirees are moving to Ottawa or choosing to stay.
#1 The Right Size
One of the reasons Ottawa is so popular among retirees is that it’s not too big and not too small. The “Goldilocks” city of around 1 million people, including its more rural surroundings, is big enough to support walkable neighbourhoods, great restaurants and entertainment, and as the capital of Canada, has a number of important cultural institutions such as museums. It’s a lively and entertaining place to live, without many of the big city problems that affect Toronto and Montreal.
#2 Affordable Cost of Living
Cost of living is a huge factor for retirees in Ottawa. As you transition to a pension and drawing from your retirement savings, it’s more important than ever to keep a close eye on your living expenses. The cost of living in Ottawa, measured in terms of things like housing costs, groceries, eating out, and entertainment, are much more reasonable in Ottawa than larger Canadian cities.
As you age, you may not be in a position to keep your driver’s license or insurance. Once you are over the age of 80, you need to start renewing your driver’s license every two years, including taking a vision test.
Many seniors fear losing their license. Such a loss reduces their independence and causes feelings of isolation, especially seniors in isolated rural parts of the country. Fortunately, a place like Ottawa is remarkably walkable and has fairly good public transit, meaning it’s easier for seniors to get around without a car or a license.
#4 World Class Retirement Residences
Ottawa is home to world-class retirement residences. If you’re looking for comfortable retirement living in Ottawa, senior housing options like Cité Parkway are worth visiting.
On the other side of the Ottawa River in Gatineau, the Résidence de la Gappe was recently one of several dozen organizations in Quebec to receive financial support from the Enabling Accessibility Fund, a fund designed to help with the construction, renovation, and retrofit of facilities and venues to make them more accessible for all.
In addition to basic accessibility, the fund is also being used in retirement residences to develop sensory-friendly rooms (also known as Snoezelen rooms), an important Alzheimer’s therapy.
#5 Easy to Access Health Care
Ottawa is likewise notable for its high-quality hospitals and ease of finding a family doctor. While both rural areas and larger cities suffer from a shortage of available medical professionals, Ottawa has both excellent facilities and high accessibility for medical care.
Getting older means higher risks of health issues. A family doctor can help you with preventive healthcare to keep more complicated issues from developing in the first place.
All in all, Ottawa is a great place to live and a great place to retire.