The Best 10 Places to Retire in Canada

People Gathered in Front of Toronto Freestanding Signage

Do you love the idea of slowing down in your retirement to somewhere cooler than where you are now? Have you wanted to live in Canada but never got around to doing it? This article is definitely for you then.

These are the best 10 cities to retire in Canada:

  • Fredericton
  • Kingston
  • Burlington
  • Kelowna
  • Victoria
  • Halifax
  • London
  • Winnipeg
  • Ottawa
  • Calgary
  • Montreal
  • Toronto

Let’s see which city best suits you now that you know what some of the top cities to retire in are.

Is Canada a good place to retire?

Population: 38 million
Average Climate: 0°C to 26°C / 32°F to 79°F
Capital city: Ottawa
Currency: Canadian Dollar (CAD)
Language: English and French

While Canada is not one of the cheapest places to retire in the world there are many other benefits to living there such as: natural beauty, welcoming people, colder climate, extremely safe, easy access to the USA, good quality food and a world class health care system.

In general, the cost of living in Canada is slightly lower than in the United Kingdom or the United States from taxes, utilities, groceries and even eating out. Property costs are also more affordable in general and it can be a lot less if you live a little more to the edge of towns but still on the public transport networks.

Expats of all ages go to Canada for a variety of reasons including retirement. So between the large expat community and the very friendly Canadian locals it should be easy for you to make new friends and settle in.

What are the best cities to retire in?

This beautiful country has many interesting cities for you to explore and below we will have a look at a few you should add to your retirement list. Whether you are a city or country person there is plenty for you to choose from in Canada including remote settlements if that is your thing.

Is Fredericton Canada a good place to retire in?

Temperature: -14°C to 25°C / 6°F to 67°F
Population: 58k

Fredericton is the provincial capital of the state of New Brunswick near Canada’s eastern coast. The town is not overly busy but as the provincial capital it provides many amenities that a town of its smaller size normally lacks. Housing costs are low enough that if you have sufficient funds or savings you can purchase a place especially if you choose a condo or apartment. In addition to cheaper house and apartment prices the rent is much lower as well.

It is a river city so if you want to fish it could be an excellent place to call home. For a city of its size the city offers a lot of historical monuments, museums, parks and festivals. The hospital due to servicing the whole state has over 300 beds, many specialists and a level 3 trauma center. Fredericton could be the spot for you if you’re looking for a good inexpensive place to live in a small town with the amenities of a much bigger one.

Public transport does not work on Sundays here but don’t worry as it is a very walkable city with it only taking an hour to walk from one side of town to the other and you still have taxis. The town also has the University of New Brunswick where you could always undertake a course if that has always been on your bucket list. This would definitely give you something to do in the winter months if you are not a snow bird and going south to Mexico for the winter from December to February.

What To Do in Fredericton:

Popular Restaurants in Fredericton:

Is Kingston Canada a good place to retire?

Temperature: -11°C to 26°C / 12°F to 79°F
Population: 137k

Kingston might be the spot for you if you don’t mind living in a place where 50% of the population consists mainly of students which brings a more youthful feeling to town. Being a border town with the USA and having Lake Ontario on your doorstep would mean you have heaps to see and do both in Canada and in the USA. It is a 2 hour drive to Ottawa and a 3 hour drive to Toronto which means you could always go and spend a weekend both now and then if you wanted even more to do.

As a retiree you’d appreciate Kingston’s laid-back vibe and leisurely pace of life. Almost half of the year the city is sunny. Local transit is convenient, fast and inexpensive. But arguably the most persuasive argument in Kingston’s favor is the city’s superior medical facilities. Kingston Medical Center is one of Southern Ontario’s largest hospitals. 

There are also plenty of local attractions to enjoy as well like Lake Ontario Park and the activities on the lake itself. Sailing, fishing, golfing and hiking are just a few of the outdoor activities available in the city. There is also a Healthcare gallery which is the only one of any kind in the country. 

What To Do in Kingston:

Popular Restaurants in Kingston:

Is Burlington Canada a good place to retire?

Temperature: -9 to 28 °C / 16 to 82 °F
Population: 1 million

The little city of Burlington has 115 parks so you won’t have any trouble getting some fresh air. It’s only 40 minutes from Toronto so if you already have friends there you might like living in this charming little town. It has a vibrant creative scene and a sufficient number of art venues especially compared to its size. This is a bike friendly city and you will meet many other cyclists around.

Although the town has one large hospital, specialist medical issues will mean a short 15min trip to Hamilton. Burlington’s home costs are a weakness in its armor. Large house prices here can be quite expensive due to its location but there are plenty of retirement villages around town which are much more affordable. In addition the city offers a diverse range of retirement living options like vibrant retirement living, residential care and home care.

LINK: Pearl and Pines Retirement Suites

What To Do in Burlington:

Popular Restaurants in Burlington:

Is Kelowna Canada a good place to retire?

Temperature: -5 to 28 °C / 23 to 82 °F
Population: 150k

In the last Canadian census pensioners made up nearly 18% of the population which is far more than the national average. If you like wine Kelowna is the place to be. You will notice the changing of all four seasons here and it can be quite beautiful to watch. It’s the ideal mix of nature, serenity and big-city bustle during the warmer tourist season. 

Unit prices start at around $70k CAD or around $55k USD.  A small static or house will set you back around $100k to $200k CAD (roughly $80k to $160k USD) depending on location and go up in price from there. These figures were accurate at the writing of the article but are subject to current exchange rate.

LINK: Royal LePage Real Estate

If you don’t mind living a little outside of the city for lower rents, enjoy driving and prefer outdoor leisure activities such as picnics by the lake, Kelowna might be a good fit for you. It is a 5 hour drive or 50 minute flight to Vancouver for which there are just over 10 flights per day too. The city’s primary medical center for example is relatively large with over 700 beds and has a smaller patient to doctor ratio then some of the bigger cities. 

What To Do in Kelowna:

Popular Restaurants in Kelowna:

Is Victoria Canada a good place to retire?

Temperature: 7 to 20 °C / 45 to 68 °F
Population: 91k

Victoria is situated on the southeastern part of Vancouver Island and it is known for having excellent real estate, weather, entertainment and standards of living that makes it one of Canada’s greatest locations to live or retire. 

Travel to the island from Vancouver itself is a bus to the Ferry terminal then a 1 ½ hour ferry and another bus to the town itself.  All up this will take about 4 hours depending on connections. If you drive you still take the same ferry and put your car on board but it will take you about 3 hours instead. The ferry won’t cost you anything if you are over 65yo and are a resident of Canada on a senior ticket or around 18 CAD (14 usd) each way if you are not without a car.

It’s also Canada’s most romantic city and is known as the “garden city” and will provide a feast for your eyes all year around. Property prices reflect this and it will cost you about $300k CAD ($240k USD) for a 1 bath 1 bedroom unit or condo and $500k CAD (400k USD) for a 2 to 3 bedroom and 2 bath house.

LINK: Re/max Neal Real Estate

What To Do in Victoria:

Popular Restaurants in Victoria:

Is Halifax Canada a good place to retire?

Temperature: -9°C to 23°C / 16°F to 73°F
Population: 431k

Halifax is Nova Scotia’’s largest city which accounts for about half of the province’s population. If you move to Halifax you will find the top medical specialists and healthcare facilities in the region because it is the regional capital for practically everything. Being on the coast there is always lots of fresh seafood as well.

The climate is also influenced by its proximity to the coast. Winters are milder and there is higher than normal humidity between 70% to 85% throughout the year. There is normally between 2 to 4 inches of rain a month depending on the time of year as well. 

There is a vibrant nightlife yet there is little traffic at peak hour. It’s more historical in nature than artsy. The majority of outdoor activities are sea based so if you prefer boating and fishing, Halifax might be the perfect place for you. Being a larger city the prices of real estate are a little higher with a 1 bed 1 bath unit at the outskirts in the satellite towns costing you around 200k CAD ($160k USD) and going up from there.

What To Do in Halifax:

Popular Restaurants in Halifax:

Is London Canada a good place to retire?

Temperature: -10°C to 27°C / 14°F to 80°F
Population: 405k

This perfectly located town that is roughly 2 hours drive from Toronto Canada and Detroit USA as well as the same time to Niagara Falls is one of the best to retire to in Canada. Its lush landscape, lower real estate prices and milder weather make it a perfect place to retire. London is known for its beautiful natural scenery and has plenty to do for outdoor enthusiasts as well as those that like the amenities of a larger small town.

London as the regional healthcare hub has a plethora of healthcare facilities and specialists with any more that you may want only a 2 hour drive away. It gets on average 4 inches of snow a month from December to March but this adds to the true changing of the seasons you will see here. It also has an international airport with lots of flights a week as well as being able to get an airport shuttle to Toronto or Detroit. Unit prices start at around $240k CAD ($190k USD) for a 2 bed 1 bath unit or condo and go up from there. This is expected due to its great location.

What To Do in London:

Popular Restaurants in London:

Is Winnipeg Canada a good place to retire?

Temperature: -18 to 27 °C / 0 to 80 °F
Population: 750k

Winnipeg isn’t the place to live if you don’t like cold and wet winters. Winnipeg can be a cost-effective area to live in though, especially if you really want to purchase a home on a tight retirement budget. Winnipeg is known for its art and history as well as having decent healthcare. A 3 bed 1 bath home starts at around $150k CAD or $120k USD depending on exchange rate at the time.

It’s a thriving economic center attracts a large number of immigrants and as a result Winnipeg has a diverse population with a great food scene. The people are very friendly and it has a small town feel even though it is ¾ of a million in population. 

While it is a long drive to anywhere being in the middle of the country that is also an advantage because it is only a 3 hour flight to the east and west coast and only just over an hour flight to Minneapolis as a gateway to the rest of the USA.

PROTIP: One of the reasons people retire to Canada is not only its safety compared to the USA but also with a visa to Canada you get instant access to the USA as well.  So you can live somewhere cheaper as well as being able to explore the USA at the same time when cheap flights are on.

What To Do in Winnipeg:

Popular Restaurants in Winnipeg:

Is Ottawa Canada a good place to retire?

Temperature: -14°C to 27°C / 7°F to 80°F
Population: 995k

It’s peaceful, tidy and a lovely town to live in with great access to Montreal with a 2 hour drive or train ride. The standard of living is excellent but the cost of living is lower than other places in Canada. If you live in Ottawa you’ll have access to some of the greatest healthcare facilities in the country. Lots of technology companies call this place home which also means the hospitals have all the latest gadgets as well.

Due to its great location the property prices are a little higher than some of the towns we have looked at with a 1 bed and 1 bath condo or unit costing around $200k CAD or $160k USD depending on the exchange rate.  You can find more real estate by typing that into google maps after you have brought up Ottawa first. This will give you current pricing as this was only accurate at the writing of this article.

Not only is there great transportation to and from Ottawa but there is also a great local transportation system if you don’t want to drive especially in the colder months. You can find the network map on the local transport website below.

LINK: Ottawa Transport Website

What To Do in Ottawa:

Popular Restaurants in Ottawa:

Is Calgary Canada a good place to retire?

Temperature: -14°C to 23°C / 7°F to 74°F
Population: 1.3 million

Though it is one of the country’s largest cities, and it is a very inexpensive place to live. Property taxes are modest as is the cost of living. While the low winter temperature seems extremely cold it is more on the mild side and not as cold as it seems. It has drawn a large number of people from many other nations and from across the country and is fastly growing.

If you like big cities and everything that comes with them except normally the high prices then this will be your lower cost alternative. With 15 to 20 flights a day to Vancouver where you can get there in just over an hour on a cheap flight it makes it very accessible.  You also have short flight times to the rest of the West coast of the USA as well.

The cheap property prices with plenty on the market are another reason to put this on your list with a 1 bed 1 bath unit or condo starting at $100k CAD ($80k USD) and a 3 bed 2 bath starting at $200k ($160k USD) CAD. As usual this depends on the exchange rate and at the writing of this article.

What To Do in Calgary:

Popular Restaurants in Calgary:

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