Top Cities to Retire in Canada - 2013

Each year the lists come out - best places to live, best cities for kids, best travel destinations - you get the picture. This year more seniors than ever want to know which cities in Canada are the best places to retire. We’ve searched the polls and read the reviews so that we might give you the best list!

Here are ten of the best cities, as rated by MoneySense magazine, for retirement in Canada in 2013:

Victoria, BC gets top marks every year, why? Residents enjoy a sub-Mediterranean climate with an average of 312 days per year above freezing. Victoria is age friendly and the crime rate, tax rate and unemployment rates are low.

Explore retirement residences in Victoria, BC

Saanich, BC on Vancouver Island is part of the greater Victoria area. Saanich residents enjoy a mild climate much like Victoria with only slightly more rain. The miles of ocean shoreline and fresh water lakes make Saanich ideal for kayaking enthusiasts - an age friendly sport gaining in popularity with seniors!

Kingston, Ontario shows up on more than one ‘top cities’ list year after year! Kingston residents enjoy miles of walking and biking paths as well as parks and green spaces. Tourism and culture play important roles in the economy of the city and Lake Ontario has a moderating affect on its climate. Kingston is home to Queen’s University, St. Lawrence College and the Royal Military College of Canada. It’s a smart city - Statistics Canada reports Kingston as home to the highest number of PhD-holders per capita of Canadian cities.   

Burlington, Ontario, in the GTA is between the Niagara Escarpment and the shores of Lake Ontario. The Royal Botanical Gardens attract hikers, nature enthusiasts and bird lovers. Burlington residents enjoy warm humid summers and moderate winters that rarely dip below -5°C. As well as a great place to retire, Burlington ranks number 1 on the list of mid-sized cities in Canada to call home.  

Ottawa, Ontario is usually on the list of top Canadian retirement cities and it also ranks high among the world’s most desirable places to live. Ottawa is age friendly with easy-to-access public transportation. It’s the city of festivals surrounded by recreational destinations, diverse employment options and affordable housing.   

Toronto, Ontario for its great diversity in sports and entertainment, shopping and dining, museums and culture, is virtually second to none. Toronto residents enjoy four distinct seasons and the coldest days of winter seldom dip below -10°C. Real estate prices are relatively high but the wide range of neighborhoods and choices in retirement living options make Toronto desirable.

Joliette, Quebec is the only primarily French-speaking city to make the top ten. If French is your first language, Joliette may be the perfect retirement destination for you! Joliette is approximately 50 km northeast of Montreal and is on the L'Assomption River. The city is home of the Joliette Art Museum and proudly hosts top notch Canadian classical music festivals.

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan boasts a strong health care system and low real estate prices making the city attractive to retirees. The province of Saskatchewan is growing in numbers with a 6.85% jump in population for 2012. That could equate to increasing overall infrastructure costs but right now, the positive reasons to retire in Saskatoon are solid.

Stratford, Ontario is picturesque, real estate prices are relatively low and employment in the arts and cultural sectors is high. Stratford is well known for the Stratford Festival and it’s not only a top retirement city but is also a desirable place to raise a family.

Winnipeg, Manitoba, while it may have surprised you, made the top ten for its low property taxes and affordable real estate prices. Winnipeg residents enjoy warm summers, a long growing season, and a low average annual rainfall.  

No matter which retirement destination you choose, if you’re relocating to a new city, do your homework. Look for qualities you most enjoy, peruse the retirement communities and plan a visit. A first hand look will help you make the right community your home.          

Written by Alice Lucette

Image by laszlo-photo of Flickr

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