The toughest part about retirement in BC is deciding where to live! The province of British Columbia has every terrain - mountains, plateaus, islands, forests and even deserts! And as climates go, whether you love the humidity of the coastline or the drier air inland, the mild winters of the south or four seasons further north, there’s a climate in BC to suit almost anyone.
For recreation - fishing in the lakes and rivers, teeming with Coho, Sockeye and pink salmon, must be experienced first hand to be believed. BC resorts are world renowned for both skiing in winter and golfing in summer, drawing young and old to the most beautiful and challenging ski hills and golf courses anywhere.
Now, where do you start your search for a place to retire in BC? These are three places we love for their differences and for their age-friendliness.
Victoria, the capital of BC, is consistently on the list of top five cities in which to retire in Canada. What makes Victoria so attractive for retirement? It is also known as the City of Gardens with the beautiful Butchart Gardens a short 30-minute drive from downtown Victoria.
The rainiest months are November through January and from April to September Victoria’s average rainfall is less than 40mm of rain per month. That’s drier than most of the west coast of Vancouver Island but just enough to keep the area beautifully green year-round.
The cost of housing is higher than many Canadian cities but the laid back feel of Victoria has attracted seniors and baby-boomers to the region for many years. Victoria has the third highest percentage of individuals over age 65 in Canada.
Kamloops is located in the BC interior and is at the hub of four major highways including the TransCanada. It is also known as BC’s friendliest city and the tournament capital of Canada - that means there’s always something happening in Kamloops from golf to fishing to hiking and biking.
Kamloops boasts above average sunshine with 2,000+ hours of sun per year making it the perfect location for all four seasons. Golfers enjoy an early spring with courses usually opening at the end of March. Summers are sunny and warm, perfect for water sports and relaxation at one of the many lakes in the area. Fall is mild and extraordinarily colorful. Powdery snow covers the surrounding mountains in winter, making the slopes perfect for skiing or spending time at the winter wonderland of Sun Peaks.
The average cost of homes is lower than many regions of BC and the rest of Canada. Add to that, the laid-back feel of the city, including downtown, and Kamloops sounds very inviting as a retirement destination no matter where you look!
West Vancouver, BC
According to Money Sense magazine, West Vancouver is among the top fifty of most desirable locations to live in not only BC but all of Canada. Its mild climate, and higher than average number of doctors per capita also make West Vancouver attractive to retirees.
While the average cost of a home is higher than in many Canadian cities, there are a large number of retirement communities to choose from. West Vancouver seniors will benefit from the recently received age-friendly government grant to go toward creating programs designed to meet the needs of the city’s older residents and add to its age-friendliness.
No matter what you are looking for in a retirement lifestyle, there is bound to a community somewhere in the beautiful province of BC, Canada that will meet and very likely exceed your expectations.
Written by Alice Lucette