A Guide to Retirement Care & Senior Living in Kitchener

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Kitchener is an affordable alternative to living in Toronto, and the city offers a combination of big city benefits and small-town charm. From Kitchener, you’ll be within an hour’s drive to the nearby cities of Toronto, London, Brampton, and Hamilton. Kitchener is in the 4th largest Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) in Ontario. This area is commonly referred to as KW (which stands for Kitchener-Waterloo) or the Tri-cities. The CMA includes the three bustling cities of Cambridge, Kitchener, and Waterloo plus four scenic townships: North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot, and Woolwich. No matter your preferences when it comes to deciding on a retirement community, let Cared Upon help you find a community in Kitchener that suits your needs. 

Lifestyle and Activities

Older adults can enjoy a variety of historic landmarks, a wide range of excellent restaurants, thriving farmers’ markets, art galleries, museums, antique shops, and factory outlets. The top attraction in the region is the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest. Since 1969, people have gathered every year to celebrate the second-largest Oktoberfest in the world. Kitchener locals also look forward to the Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Festival, Kitchener Blues Fest, and Kultrun World Music Festival every year. 

Seniors can also explore Kitchner's many parks and trails located along the Grand River. Large greenspaces, like Waterloo Park and RIM Park, feature baseball diamonds, sports fields, and picnic areas for residents to enjoy.  

Weather and Climate

Like many cities located in Ontario, Kitchener’s climate is humid and continental, with four district seasons. During the summers, you can expect hot, humid days, with temperatures rising to 25.9°C (78.6°F) in July. The winters in Kitchener are moderate, with snowfall lasting from mid-December to mid-April and temperatures lingering around -3.1°C (26.4°F). 

Housing Options in Ontario: 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 Ontario: 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 your 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.