A Guide to Retirement Care & Living in St. Catharine’s

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Known as Canada’s “Garden City” for its 1,000 acres of parks, gardens, and trails, St. Catharine’s is the perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of crowded city life. It’s thriving multicultural community and upcoming Urban Growth Center, make St. Catharine’s a great place to retire. In addition to being located near Toronto and the US Border, it’s place in the Niagara Peninsula boasts the highest number of vineyards in Ontario. With more than 50 wineries less than a 30-minute drive away, St. Catharine’s a sommelier’s paradise. No matter what you’re looking for in a senior living community, Cared Upon can help you find a residence in St. Catharine’s as unique as you are.  

Lifestyle and Activities

In addition to hosting The Niagara Wine Festival every September for wine lovers, St. Catharine’s is also the perfect place for golf enthusiasts. 47 golf courses are located within 35 kilometers of the city, with two in city limits. The oldest golf course, the Fox Run Golf Course, boasts three nine-hole fields along with a stand-alone driving range for perfecting your stroke. Because of the city’s temperate microclimate, the whole region is also known as Canada’s Fruit Basket. This means that you’ll enjoy access to some of the freshest produce in the province and will also enjoy a full floral bloom starting in the early spring.  

The region’s climate is particularly good for outdoor enthusiasts who can look forward to exploring 12 kilometers of the longest and oldest trail in Canada, the Bruce Trail. This trail has also been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. For even more variety, St. Catharine’s also hosts 90 kilometers of multi-seasonal trails; during the summer, these areas are great for walking and cycling, while in the winter, they’re great for cross country skiing or brisk hikes. 

Weather and Climate

In St. Catharine’s, the summers are warm, and the winters are mild and windy. It’s not unusual for the city to be partly cloudy for most of the year. The city has a unique microclimate because of the moderating influence of Lakes Ontario and Lake Erie, and the sheltering effect of the Niagara Escarpment to the south, with year-round temperatures typically varying between -7°C (19.4°F) to 26°C (78.8°F) and rarely sinking below -14°C (6.8°F) or rising above 31°C (87.8°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.