Ready to retire but not sure where to set up shop? Here we give the lowdown on 9 of the most appealing Canadian cities to pitch your tent and live out your Golden years.
Tucked into the 'snow belt', expect cozy fireside winters and summers full of garden shows, farmers markets and Shakespeare. Modeled on the English city, Stratford is packed with picturesque Victorian architecture surrounded by Ontario countryside a short two hour drive from Toronto. Real estate is affordable, crime rates are low and the local Stratford Festival attracts major Canadian talent like Colme Feore and Christopher Plummer.
Living in a capital city will always have its perks --clean streets, well manicured public spaces, good access to doctors, healthcare and professional services. Being a city on an island, Victoria also boasts pretty spectacular scenery and surroundings with a number of historical buildings, public gardens and, of course, the Pacific coast.
Smack dab in the middle of Saskatchewan may seem like a strange place to live out your Golden years but Saskatoon surprisingly has a lot to offer for retirees. There is a really strong healthcare system with good access to doctors and real estate is still pretty affordable. Because wages are high, people have the cash to take care of their homes as well as support local initiatives like public parks, arts and culture initiatives.
What could be more appealing than wine and delicous food? These are just two of the main reasons people head to Ontario's Niagara-on-the-Lake, a picturesque community located in the Niagara region. Between visiting local wineries, wandering through the Victorian-style village or going on scenic drives out in the countryside, you'll find no shortage of things to do in this retirement haven.
Where nature and culture collide, Burlington is the unassuming retirement spot just a 40 minute train ride from Toronto. Local attractions like Canada's Largest Ribfest and the Sound of Music Festival are great reasons for the family to come and visit while outdoor enthusiasts will relish exploring Spencer Smith Park, the Royal Botanical Gardens and the nearby Niagara Escarpment with access to the Bruce Trail.
Lake Okanagan's longest uninterrupted beach is just one of the things that will make you want to stay in Peachland forever. Surrounded by mountains, waterfalls, golf and wine country, the community here continues to grow, particularly with those looking for balmy climes. A bonus: Kelowna is just a half an hour drive north.
Those looking to retire in a city but are afraid of the aggressive (and expensive) real estate options in places like Toronto and Vancouver should consider Calgary. The economy is booming but property prices have still managed to stay reasonable and the arts and culture scene is really beginning to pick up with events like the Calgary International Film Festival, the Calgary Folk Music Festival, FunnyFest Calgary Comedy Festival, Carifest, the Calgary Fringe Festival and, of course, the Stampede.
If you're sick of the rain in the west or the freezing temperatures in the east, Winnipeg may be a good option for you. Typically warmer than most parts of the country but not riddled with rain, the city has low property taxes, affordable real estate and has seen record growth in the last few years.
Though the rate of employment is one of the worst in the country, Windsor is surprisingly appealing to those looking to settle down. Not only is real estate quite affordable, but the city has great access to picturesque farming communities like Leamington with a wealth of healthy markets and you're just a hop, skip and a jump from the U.S. border into Detroit which will satify any big city (or shopping) needs.