Are you imagining a tranquil retirement with mild winters, affordable housing, and a vibrant cultural scene? Or are you and your partner nature lovers looking for sandy beaches, an occasional rainy day, and access to the best medical systems? Look no further than this list of Canada's 9 best places to retire in Canada in 2024.
Canada is one of the best countries in the world. No matter your personal preferences, Canada's low crime rate, historic architecture, and affordable places make it one of the best retirement destinations in the world. Here are some great Canadian locations offering a combination of urban life, outdoor activities, and a community-driven atmosphere that will make you feel part of the Great White North.
Victoria, British Columbia
Located on Vancouver Island, Victoria, B.C., is known as the “Garden City” due to its beautiful natural scenery. This gem of a city is nestled in the heart of the great Pacific outdoors, offering a unique blend of old-world charm and new-world city experiences. With mild weather and low property taxes set at 0.52035%, retirees can enjoy affordable living while participating in adventurous activities such as boating, fishing, sailing, or golfing.
Victoria is home to the lush greenery of Beacon Hill Park, other nearby parks, and attractions like the Victoria Butterfly Gardens and the Royal BC Museum. The city's busy arts scene, bustling farmers' markets, and culinary variety add to its appeal.
Additionally, Victoria has a rich history, with a number of heritage buildings and landmarks that offer a glimpse into the city's past. The downtown core is home to the oldest Chinatown in Canada and the iconic Fairmont Empress Hotel, a city landmark since 1908. Victoria is also home to the University of Victoria and Royal Roads University (formerly Royal Roads Military College), top Canadian universities offering lifelong learning opportunities.
Victoria has excellent healthcare facilities, and the city is well-served by an extensive public transportation system. While real estate prices may be higher than in other major cities, Victoria's low tax rates allow people of all ages to lead a comfortable life without being financially strained.
Victoria is West Coast living at its finest with its easy mainland access, warmer climate, and access to some of the most beautiful coastal scenery in the world.
Kelowna, British Columbia
Located on the Okanagan Lake, Kelowna, B.C., boasts a sunny climate and higher-than-normal numbers of retirees in the city and local area. Kelowna seamlessly mixes nature and urban life, catering to outdoor enthusiasts who appreciate modern amenities and conveniences.
Kelowna is known for its incredible scenery, good weather, a mild average temperature, and fantastic lakefront locales with quick access to Canada's premiere wine country. The city thrives, hosting many yearly art shows, cultural events, festivals, and live performances. Kelowna is also known for its world-class dining options, wineries, and luxury housing that range from assisted care facilities to fully independent housing. While the cost of living might be a bit higher in this area, it would be tough to find the same mix of urban and outdoors, especially somewhere within a quick drive to a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks, one of Canada's most beautiful national parks).
Kelowna boasts a wide range of recreational facilities, including golf courses, tennis courts, and hiking trails, providing retirees a great way to stay active and healthy. Given its proximity to the Okanagan Lake, retirees can enjoy various water-based activities, from boating and fishing to swimming and paddleboarding.
While not on any list of Canada's cheapest places, Kelowna's retirement experience is both luxurious and active, making it a good place for those who want to make the most of their golden years.
Niagara-on-the-Lake is an Eastern Canada retirement community in Ontario. Located a quick two-hour drive, or 2.5-hour train ride, from the Greater Toronto Area, this town of just over 17,000 in southern Ontario perfectly balances serenity and fun. It is even more attractive to retirees because half of the town's inhabitants are over 45.
There are many things to do in Niagara-on-the-Lake, including golfing, sailing, fishing, and adventure sports such as scuba diving and boating. Niagara Falls is a quick 30-minute drive, making it an appealing tourism home base when out-of-town friends visit. With its tourism ecosystem, including numerous casinos, uncompromising entertainment options are just steps away. Arts fans can also enjoy The Shaw Festival, which has occurred every summer since 1962. This festival offers culture lovers unique theatre experiences. The town is rich in history, with several historical sites and museums that provide a glimpse into Canada's past. For example, The Niagara Historical Society Museum houses over 40,000 artifacts that tell the town's storied history.
The region's agriculture heavily influences the local cuisine, with fresh, locally sourced ingredients featured prominently on most menus. For wine lovers, the town is the perfect destination; there are over 30 wineries located within a 15-minute drive.
Niagara-on-the-Lake is a tax-friendly dream destination, with a final property tax rate of 1.51% in 2023. Property values currently average $561,000, making it possible to own your home while enjoying this thrilling, active lifestyle surrounded by picturesque scenery.
Niagara-on-the-Lake has excellent healthcare facilities and services. The Niagara Health System provides a comprehensive range of inpatient and outpatient services, including long-term care, palliative care, and mental health services. There are also many private healthcare providers and specialists in the area.
Though not considered a big city in Ontario, Niagara-on-the-Lake offers retirees a blend of relaxation, recreation, culture, and history, making it one of Canada's best places for retirement. Further, given its proximity to the United States border, international destinations are just a short drive away and an excellent option for shopping, tourism, and more!
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Atlantic Canada and its small cities often have a lower cost of living than the national average. Whether it is Halifax, Nova Scotia, Saint John, New Brunswick, or St. John's, Newfoundland, those making their way out the East Coast will find a good life after their working years.
Nova Scotia Health has over 24,000 employees and a network of healthcare facilities across the province. Medavie Blue Cross is the provincial health insurance administrator known for ensuring Nova Scotians receive the best care possible. The average property tax rate is 0.50%, making it an ideal location to settle down for retirement in Canada.
Retirement living in Nova Scotia's coastal city of Halifax is no exception. It has become famous for retirees seeking urban amenities and beachside getaways. Outdoor activities include hiking, boating, fishing, and exploring coastlines. Halifax's rich history includes attractions such as the Citadel Hill National Historic Site and Government House.
Halifax also has an emerging arts scene with numerous galleries, theatres, and music venues to explore. The city is also known for its food and drinks scene, with various restaurants, pubs, and breweries serving local and international fare. The city's walkability and excellent public transit system ensure retirees can get around and enjoy everything this large city provides.
Halifax has grown in recent years but still offers a strong sense of community, with a friendly and welcoming population that will ensure retirees feel at home.
Fredericton, New Brunswick
Fredericton, NB, captures the hearts of retirees looking for a great combination of urban amenities, an affordable high quality of life, and a small-town feel. The city provides a bustling environment with contemporary luxuries while maintaining its intimate atmosphere. This mix of luxury and community togetherness is one of the main reasons retirees often choose Fredericton as their retirement home.
Fredericton is walkable and offers retirees a range of historical structures, museums, parks, and events throughout the year. Retirees may enjoy this location due to its humid continental climate that provides varying seasons without being too harsh.
Property prices in Fredericton are reasonable for those on a budget, especially a single person. The average home price is currently $298,000. Retirees also have access to a Level 3 trauma center and hospital with over 300 beds.
Fredericton's downtown core has a variety of shops, restaurants, and cafes that cater to many tastes and budgets. Frequent community events also provide retirees with plenty of opportunities to socialize.
In a word, Fredericton is charming. Although it is not one of Canada's most populated cities, it is an excellent choice for retirees wanting to settle in a “hometown” environment.
Those moving on from working life will find Kingston, ON, to be an idyllic place for their retirement. Picturesque views from Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River enhance its peaceful setting.
There are numerous outdoor activities like sailing, kayaking, or hiking. The city features various historical buildings, such as Fort Henry and the Marine Museum of Great Lakes, providing enjoyable sights while exploring different parts of town. Kingston is also known for its vibrant arts and culture scene, with various galleries, theatres, and music venues offering a range of entertainment options. The city's downtown area is lively, with a mix of quaint shops, gourmet restaurants, and cozy cafes that cater to all tastes and budgets.
Kingston hosts numerous community events and festivals throughout the year, providing plenty of opportunities for socializing and entertainment. The local community is known for being friendly and welcoming, making it an ideal place for retirees looking to make new friends and connections. The city's efficient and reliable public transportation system makes it easy to get around and explore all Kingston offers.
There are excellent facilities, with Kingston General Hospital being its central facility. It has ample healthcare support options for local retirement communities, ensuring every retiree's golden years are their best.
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island’s capital city of Charlottetown offers retirees a relaxed, small town vibe and incredible natural beauty. This charming city is characterized by its gorgeous Victorian architecture, quaint shops, and friendly locals.
The cost of living is affordable, and retirees can choose from various housing options, such as independent living communities, supportive housing complexes, or seniors’ condos. Retirement homes offering life leases, plus government programs providing assisted accommodations for those needing help affording their home, are also available. These options ensure a comfortable and welcoming home awaits you in Charlottetown, regardless of your needs or budget.
The local cuisine features fresh seafood such as lobster, oysters, and artisan ice cream, all sourced right on Prince Edward Island! The city's dining scene is a food lover's paradise, with restaurants serving everything from traditional Canadian fare to international treats. In addition to exceptional food, Charlottetown offers various recreational activities catering to several interests. Whether you're a golf fan, enjoy walking in parks, or love exploring local history, Charlottetown is a great place to stay engaged and entertained.
With its affordability, natural beauty, and vibrant community, Charlottetown is genuinely an up-and-coming spot for retirees.
Canmore, AB, is a stunning mountain town with hefty housing prices but abundant outdoor activities to keep seniors active. With the Canadian Rockies as its backdrop, this locality has become a sought-after retirement destination.
From hiking, cycling, skiing, and rafting to bird watching, Canmore offers many activities that cater to various interests. The breathtaking views of the mountains provide a serene environment perfect for those seeking a peaceful retirement. Canmore's location is in the heart of the Rockies, surrounded by national and provincial parks. It provides retirees with endless opportunities for exploration and adventure. The town has a fun and engaged community, with several local shops, restaurants, and arts and culture venues catering to various tastes and interests.
Real estate values reflect that many have settled here, with average home prices hovering around or above one million dollars. Despite the high cost, the quality of life and the unparalleled natural beauty that Canmore offers make it a worthwhile investment for many retirees. The town also features services from the Canmore Seniors Association, which requires membership, allowing access to indoor/outdoor social events. This membership ensures plenty of engaging opportunities all year after settling down in any number of the available communities specific to senior living style preferences!
With its natural beauty, outdoor activities, and community spirit, Canmore is truly a unique and rewarding place to spend your retirement. It is also within close proximity to Calgary, AB, home of the Calgary Stampede!
For retirees looking to relocate, Ottawa, our Nation's capital, is one of Canada's top cities and an excellent choice. Though not Canada's largest city, it offers a superior quality of life, affordability, and access to top-notch healthcare services. This, combined with its impressive range of modern attractions, ensures it consistently ranks high among retirement spots around the country.
The average house price is $643,000 for 2023, while the property tax rate sits at 1.16%, making this stunning city life location even more attractive for those considering retiring here. Residents enjoy pleasant temperatures throughout most of the year, ranging from – 6°C to 27°C!
Ottawa is a city that is rich in culture and history. The city's downtown area is particularly active, with numerous retail outlets, eateries, and bars. Ottawa also has many beautiful parks and green spaces, providing plenty of outdoor activities and relaxation opportunities. The city's public transportation system is efficient and reliable, making it easy to get around and explore all that Ottawa offers.
The city's community is known for being friendly and welcoming, making it an ideal place for retirees looking to make new friends. Furthermore, Ottawa's location on the banks of the Ottawa River provides a beautiful natural setting perfect for those who love nature and outdoor activities.
Whether you're a fan of hiking, biking, boating, or simply enjoying the beauty of nature, Ottawa has something to offer.
We have now reviewed our picks for the 9 best places to retire in Canada. No matter your preference, there is a Canadian city to suit the dream retirement you are looking for. Each of these cities offers unique benefits that make them ideal for retirement. With its lush gardens and mild climate, Victoria offers retirees the chance to enjoy nature year-round. Kelowna, located in the heart of Canada's wine country, allows retirees to enjoy a luxurious lifestyle with world-class dining and entertainment options. Ottawa, Canada's capital city, is rich in history and culture, offering retirees a range of activities and attractions to explore.
Whether you're a nature lover, a history buff, or someone who enjoys the finer things in life, Canada has a city that's perfect for you. With its diverse landscapes, vibrant cities, and friendly communities, Canada offers a retirement experience that is second to none. So pack your bags, say goodbye to work, and start your new adventure in one of these fantastic Canadian cities. Your golden years are just getting started!