Retirement Homes in Ontario

Overview of Retirement Homes in Ontario

Privately owned and funded entirely by resident fees, these 55+ communities are designed for seniors who do not have significant mobility or medical issues. Retirement Communities provide a variety of social, culinary, fitness and support services to all residents, who enjoy a relaxing and maintenance-free lifestyle. Shared accommodation, private condos, or cottage-style residences are all available to select from.Retirement Homes in Ontario

Ontario is a premium retirement destination for many Canadians – thanks to a thriving economy, modern medical and financial infrastructures, and moderate weather. Over 12 million residents reside in the province, with seniors constituting 14.2% of this population. The province's largest city is Toronto, which is situated on the shores of Lake Ontario. Home to over four million, 12.4% of the city's population are senior citizens – a number that's slated to grow to 20%+ by 2036.

Costs of Retirement Homes in Ontario

Costs of Retirement Homes in Ontario can range from $1,500 to $5,000 per month, dependent on the type of accommodation and services which you require. This fee includes housekeeping, laundry services, and access to a variety of on-site amenities such as fitness centres, spas, and recreational facilities. Most Retirement Communities allow residents to opt out of certain services such as meal plans, resulting in lower monthly costs.

Rental increases are governed by Ontario's Residential Tenancies Protection Act, which also provides dispute adjudication and mediation between landlords and tenants.

  Studio One Bedroom Two bedroom Average
Greater Toronto Area 3,178 4,172 5,171 3,635
Toronto 3,053 4,371 6,359 3,609
Etobicoke 3,742 4,293 ** 4,052
North York 3,367 4,651 6,194 3,935
Scarborough 2,544 3,531 ** 2,732
Durham 2,885 3,725 4,653 3,230
Peel 3,262 3,877 4,259 3,551
York 3,493 4,314 5,049 3,924
Central Ontario 2,645 3,437 4,063 2,820
Brant 2,495 3,287 ** 2,555
Hamilton 2,548 3,723 4,614 2,783
Niagara Falls 2,454 3,231 ** 2,626
St. Catharine 2,589 3,610 ** 2,884
Peterborough 2,788 3,481 ** 2,992
Barrie 2,829 3,929 ** 3,009
Waterloo 2,794 3,514 3,875 2,900
Kitchener 2,812 3,664 ** 2,785
Guelph 2,999 3,624 ** 3,050
Ottawa 3,052 4,153 4,345 3,352
Ottawa - Central 3,296 4,840 ** 3,898
Ottawa - East 2,858 4,067 4,131 3,109
Ottawa - West 3,138 3,991 4,261 3,388
Eastern Ontario 2,320 3,387 3,914 2,508
Southwestern Ontario 2,462 3,264 3,926 2,720
Essex 2,459 3,370 4,241 2,820
Windsor 2,459 3,398 ** 2,863
Oxford 2,502 ** ** 2,524
Perth 2,270 2,912 ** 2,217
Northern Ontario 2,211 3,102 4,177 2,513
Algoma/Thunder Bay 2,166 3,075 ** 2,576
Greater Sudbury 2,290 ** ** 2,538
Ontario 2,744 3,764 4,536 3,066

The following are excluded from the table above: non-market/subsidy units; respite units; and, units where an extra charge is paid for Heavy-care (1½ hours or more of care). Source: CMHC - 2012

Government Programs and Subsidies for Ontario Retirement Homes

Ontario Retirement Residences are not subsidized by the government. Ontario does offer private subsidies of up to 75% to seniors with long-term disabilities, to help with the purchase of assistive devices which relate to their medical condition. The province also offers a Guaranteed Annual Income System for eligible CPP recipients, which provides financial assistance to low-income seniors.

Regulations of Ontario Retirement Homes

Most Retirement Homes in Ontario are members of the Ontario Retirement Communities Association (ORCA) - a non-profit, voluntary organization that monitors and inspects retirement communities in the province, and ensures the highest standards of care are being met. All member-residences of ORCA have to oblige by and maintain ORCA's high standards as a condition of membership. This organization also manages the Retirement Home Complaints Response and Information Service, a free complimentary resource for seniors and their caregivers who need help to resolve issues related to retirement homes or seeking information on senior housing in Ontario.

Ontario Retirement Communities are governed by the Retirement Homes Act, which ensures that residents enjoy optimal levels of comfort and safety at any privately funded facility. Starting from April 15, 2012 all retirement homes in ON must apply for a license under the new RHA. Most of them will be licensed (or not) by March 2013. The Act is administered and enforced by the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA). Licensing of Retirement Residences in Ontario is also provided by the RHRA, which exercises a zero tolerance policy for issues concerning elder abuse or neglect. This organization also monitors the conduct at each facility, and investigates claims to ensure that care and safety standards are being met.

If a Retirement Community in Ontario includes buildings or amenities which receive external or public funding, those facilities will fall under the jurisdiction of special legislation such as the Homes for Special Care Act and Long-Term Care Homes Act.

The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care regulates public health issues and provides inspections to all Retirement Residences in the province. The Ministry also assists retirees with transitional issues when they initially relocate to a retirement community. All meals served on site are subject to the oversight of the Health Protection and Promotion Act, so seniors can be assured that their facility is serving properly prepared food in a comfortable and clean environment.

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