A Guide to Retirement Care and Senior Living in Toronto

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As Canada’s largest city, Toronto offers seniors a compelling retirement with a high-quality of life, quality healthcare, and an entertaining lifestyle. Its top artists, sports teams, parks and lakes, multiculturalism, and arts scene combined with over 8000 restaurants and bars have earned Toronto the title of the world's most liveable city. Many seniors are drawn to Toronto as it offers a unique set of opportunities for staying active and engaged after retirement. Whether you're looking for a retirement community in Toronto’s city centre or one in the suburbs, Cared Upon is here to help you find one that's right for you. 

Lifestyle & Activities

There are a plethora of activities available in Toronto and the surrounding areas which appeal to seniors looking for a diverse retirement lifestyle. Seniors retiring in Toronto will find that the city has a wide variety of outdoor spaces including parks, lakes, rivers, cycling paths, and hiking trails to explore. While walking along Yonge street, which is among the longest streets in the world, you may also find yourself visiting Dundas square and shopping along the various stores to discover. Locals in the city also enjoy the proximity to Niagara falls, as older adults and families often head down for a staycation or a guided tour of the falls.  

For seniors that enjoy a more laid-back lifestyle, you may find that cafes or markets (such as the St. Lawrence Market) make for an ideal spot to wind down and get minimal walking in. Seniors looking to meet other like-minded older adults in the area can also find local senior recreation centres that offer programs such as yoga, skating, dancing, painting, and ceramic classes. 

Weather and Climate

Toronto has a semi-continental climate with humid summers and harsh winters. The city sees a fair amount of sunshine near spring and summer, with winters that see a fair amount of snow and snowstorms. You can expect average temperatures during the winter to range anywhere from -7°C to 3.2°C (19.4°F-37.8°F), with occasional cold spells that can reach up to -20°C (-4°F). During the summertime, you’ll find smog to be more common, with average temperatures ranging from 17-25°C (62.6-77°F).  

Housing Options in Toronto: 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 Toronto: 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 livable 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.