A Guide to Retirement Care & Senior Living in Barrie

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Known as the “Gateway to Cottage Country”, Barrie is one of Ontario’s beloved cities as it makes for not only a great Canadian getaway spot but also an attractive retirement destination. In addition to its diverse water bodies and beaches, the city has a historic downtown city centre filled with restaurants and theatres, as well as several festivals, all of which attract tourists year-round. The city is also in close proximity to Toronto, making it ideal for seniors wishing to get away from the busy city but still live near enough to enjoy an occasional visit down. Seniors retiring in Barrie have numerous opportunities to stay active and engaged in the city, whether it be outdoors or indoors. If you are thinking about retiring in Barrie, Cared Upon can assist you in finding the perfect retirement community made for you in the city. 

Lifestyle & Activities

Older adults retiring in Barrie will find that the city has a wide variety of outdoor spaces including parks, lakes, ski resorts, beaches, and trails to explore and enjoy an active lifestyle. The city is also widely known for having one of the largest selections of cottage country areas to choose from, as you can often find yourself spending the weekend on getaway trips on the lakeside. Popular lakes where locals enjoy activities such as swimming, canoeing, sailing, windsurfing, and fishing include Centennial Pak, Johnson’s Beach, and Minet’s Point. For seniors that enjoy visiting festivals and mingling with other older adults, Barrie is known for its annual festivals such as Kempenfest, the Waterfront Festival, Winterfest, Celebrate Barrie, and much more. The MacLaren Art Centre is also a noteable gallery in the downtown city centre worth visiting, filled with over 27,000 art pieces in its collection.  

Weather and Climate

Barrie is known to have long, comfortable summers with freezing, windy, and snowy winters. Partly overcast weather is known to prevail throughout the year. You can expect average temperatures during the winter to range anywhere from -4°C to -2°C (24.8°F-28.4°F).  During the summertime, average temperatures can range anywhere from 23-26°C (73.4-78.8°F).  

Housing Options in Barrie: Finding the Right Fit for You

You may find that as you age, your home care and retirement needs will change. From assisted living to adult lifestyle communities, Ontario offers seniors a range of housing options to fit their lifestyle and health needs. Although the location of your retirement community in Ontario will directly affect the cost, you can typically expect the cost of assisted living to start at $2000-$3000 per month. 

Although a large portion of retirement housing is privately owned and paid for, the government allows you to claim the costs of nursing homes or long-term care facilities through the Medical Expense Tax Credit (METC). Depending on the type of care you require and the facility you choose to call home, you can choose to claim for the costs which will be determined by your personal income. To learn more about the Medical Expense Tax Credit, visit the GGFL website

Cost of Retiring in Barrie: Budgeting and Financing

In terms of retirement budgeting, you’ll find that the cost of retiring in Ontario will vary depending on the city you choose to settle down in. For example, as Toronto is one of the most vibrant and liveable cities in all of Canada, you may find that the cost of living is higher than the national average. However, seniors living on a low to moderately low income wishing to retire in Ontario may be eligible for various income support programs.  

Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTB): The Ontario Trillium Benefit is a program that provides eligible seniors with payment from a combination of the Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit, Northern Ontario Energy Credit, and the Ontario Sales Tax Credit. 

Government Funding 

Seniors residing in Ontario may also access several federally provided financial resources to help them prepare and pay for their retirement. If eligible, you may access funding through federal programs such as the Canadian Pension Plan Retirement Pension (CPP), Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), and the Old Age Security Pension (OAS). For more information on Government contributions and your eligibility, visit our care blog

Post-Retirement Income Sources

For seniors not eligible or looking for government funding, there are several different ways they can look to fund their retirement.  

Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) and Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs): Using a Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) or a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSAs) you may save up for your post-retirement income, which will be dependent on the amount put into these accounts when you first began saving and the interest you received. 

Investment accounts: Taxable investment accounts, such as stocks and bonds, is a more common form of saving up for a post-retirement income source.  

Employer-sponsored pension plans: You may be eligible for an employer-sponsored pension plan through your employer. This plan involves your and your employer contributing money towards your retirement over the course of your employment. 

To learn more about your post-retirement income source options, visit our resource centre

Access to Healthcare

All residents of Ontario must sign up with the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) to receive free health care and health services. As health care is publicly funded, under OHIP residents are entitled to coverage on health services such as visits to their doctor, hospital stays, medical surgeries, dental surgeries, ambulance services, eligible optometry services, and even travel for health-related services. While these are the standard services covered under OHIP, seniors 65 and up receive extended coverage on optometry services and prescription medication. You can find information on extended prescription medication coverage through the Ontario Drug Benefit program (ODB) on the Ontario Ministry of Health website.  

Additional Resources

For further information, you can visit and/or contact these sources: 

Ontario Senior Living Guide: A comprehensive guide to all things senior living and program-related in Ontario. 

Telehealth Ontario: Call 1-866-797-0000 Toll-free to get access to a confidential health information line.