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15 Best Places to Retire in Ontario

This article looks at the best places to retire in Ontario. If you wish to skip our analysis of retirement concerns in Canada, you may go directly to 5 Best Places to Retire in Ontario.

Retirement in Canada

As the years pass by and you find yourself in the twilight of your career, the quest to ensure a perfect retirement begins to occupy one’s mind. Being able to spend your golden years in comfort, enrichment, and adventure is a dream for individuals of all generations. In fact, a survey by the Royal Bank of Canada (NYSE: RY) revealed that a comfortable retirement was the number one financial goal among 46% of millennials and 56% of gen-Xers in Canada.

For those living in the Great White North, the availability of comprehensive universal healthcare and Old Age Security are two amenities to the envy of most seniors in other nations. However, retiring in Canada isn’t as convenient as one might presume. Behind the veil of free healthcare and benefits lies a host of financial concerns that can derail, and even destroy, your hopes of a comfortable retirement.

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According to a survey by Bank of Montreal (NYSE: BMO), an average Canadian now believes that they will require approximately 1.7 million CAD to retire comfortably. If you feel this sum seems rather unrealistic, you might not be the only one doubting their chances of a perfect retirement. In Ontario, the country’s most populous province, a study by Financial Services Regulatory of Ontario (FSRA) shows that one in every five Ontarians believe that they will never be able to retire.

Due to rampant inflation and an ever-worsening housing situation, building a nest egg for your golden years has become quite difficult for most Canadians. Bank of Montreal (NYSE: BMO), in their aforementioned survey, reported that 44% of Baby Boomers surveyed said that they had to extend their careers in order to compensate for an inability to save.

Competing Priorities and Unforeseen Expenses

One of the most common reasons for being unable to save for retirement is competing priorities. Our article on Best Places to Retire in Michigan highlights how competing life priorities can reduce an average American’s retirement savings by up to 37%, per The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE: GS). For their Canadian counterparts, studies show a similar pattern as many Canadians struggle to save up for retirement in the face of rising day-to-day expenses. According to the Royal Bank of Canada (NYSE: RY) 2023 Financial Independence Poll, 3 in 4 Canadians worry about how to balance savings for immediate priorities versus saving for retirement.

Moreover, even those who do retire are confronted with the harsh reality that retirement continues to become more and more expensive. According to Sun Life Financial, Inc. (NYSE: SLF), nearly 34% of retirees say their cost of living in retirement is higher than anticipated. One of the most common reasons for the increased cost of living in retirement is out-of-pocket medical expenses. Among Boomers surveyed by Sun Life Financial, Inc. (NYSE: SLF), 32% cited healthcare costs as a factor causing their cost of living to be more expensive than anticipated in retirement, second only to inflation (83%).

Additionally, the Royal Bank of Canada (NYSE: RY) reveals that many individuals fail to realize that they may not get to choose their retirement date. According to a survey, 41% of retirees revealed that their retirement date was unplanned. Being unable to retire as planned can have massive repercussions on your retirement pool due to an increased retirement tenure and unforeseen expenditures.

"We're finding that even Canadians who think they are well-prepared for their retirement years have not taken the unexpected into consideration. When their job disappears suddenly, they struggle with financing the added years in retirement that they hadn't counted on."

-Lee Anne Davies, Head of Retirement Strategies, Royal Bank of Canada (NYSE: RY).

Despite this, younger generations fail to account for unprecedented expenses when planning for retirement. Sun Life Financial, Inc. (NYSE: SLF) states that while 31% of Millennials experience a chronic physical or mental health condition requiring medication or treatment, 52% of them admitted that these costs had not been factored into their retirement plan. Gen-Zs on the other hand provide an even more concerning perspective. Per Bank of Montreal (NYSE: BMO), 38% of Gen-Z respondents stated they had put off saving for retirement indefinitely, with the reason being that the current economic conditions made it unviable for them to spare any savings.

All these factors considered; it would be wise for Canadians of any generation to take heed of the fact that retirement is not going to be as straightforward as they had presumed. One of the best ways to avoid depleting your bank account in retirement is to pick a retirement destination that helps cut down on housing and living expenses. Our list of Best Places to Retire in Canada reveals some of the most fulfilling and most affordable places to retire in Canada. For those who have their hearts set on Ontario, join us as we look at the Best Places to Retire in Ontario.

15 Best Places to Retire in Ontario
15 Best Places to Retire in Ontario

15 Best Places to Retire in Ontario

Methodology

To develop our list of best places to retire in Ontario, we initially picked out the most recommended places to retire in Ontario on the internet. We used 10+ sources including Our list of Best Places to Retire in Canada, Savvy New Canadians, and GoWylde to develop a shortlist. Further research was narrowed down to these places only. Among these best places to retire in Ontario, we developed a scorecard using metrics such as livability scores, cost of living, median rent, and median home prices. Livability scores were sourced from Area Vibes while median home prices were obtained from Houseful.ca. By standardizing these metrics on a linear scale, each place was scored, based on which we sorted our list in a descending order. The top 15 places were chosen as the best places to retire in Ontario.

By the way, Insider Monkey is an investing website that tracks the movements of corporate insiders and hedge funds. By using a similar consensus approach, we identify the best stock picks of more than 900 hedge funds investing in US stocks. The top 10 consensus stock picks of hedge funds outperformed the S&P 500 Index by more than 140 percentage points over the last 10 years (see the details here). Whether you are a beginner investor or a professional one looking for the best stocks to buy, you can benefit from the wisdom of hedge funds and corporate insiders.

Here are the best places to retire in Ontario.

15. Cobourg

Insider Monkey Score: 9.86

Livability Score: 68

Median Home Price: CAD$ 694,000

IM Cost of Living: 101.0

Cobourg is a small lakeside town located on the shores of Lake Ontario. This popular retirement destination offers plenty of excursions in the form of beaches and marinas. The town also boasts historical significance, with sites such as Victoria Hall, making it one of the best places to retire in Ontario for an enriching, waterfront retirement.

14. Collingwood

Insider Monkey Score: 10.34

Livability Score: 79

Median Home Price: CAD$ 729,000

IM Cost of Living: 111.0

Collingwood is a beautiful town located in the north of Toronto, on the shores of the Georgian Bay. The town hosts a wide range of beaches & parks and is in close proximity to the Blue Mountain Ski Resort. Collingwood is also home to some of the best waterfront retirement communities in Ontario, which are a perfect destination for a fulfilling and adventurous retirement.

13. Mississauga

Insider Monkey Score: 10.51

Livability Score: 89

Median Home Price: CAD$ 876,000

IM Cost of Living: 124.2

Even though Mississauga is an expensive destination to live in, it is one of the best places to retire in Ontario. The city offers a high-quality lifestyle with vibrant art galleries, plenty of shopping centers, and a diverse multicultural population. Mississauga is also the location of the Toronto Pearson International Airport, making it the perfect destination for retirees interested in frequent long-distance travelling.

12. Brampton

Insider Monkey Score: 10.74

Livability Score: 85

Median Home Price: CAD$ 1,000,000

IM Cost of Living: 109.6

Knows as the Flower City, Brampton is one of the best places to retire in Ontario if you wish to remain close to Toronto. Located in the Greater Toronto area, it features all the amenities necessary for an enriching retirement such as community centers, shopping spaces, parks, and public libraries. Residents also have immediate access to healthcare through the Brampton Civic Hospital. Brampton has the highest median home price out of all the places in our list.

11. Port Hope

Insider Monkey Score: 11.33

Livability Score: 75

Median Home Price: CAD$ 699000

IM Cost of Living: 97.0

Located in Southern Ontario, Port Hope is the perfect destination to spend your golden years away from the bustle of metropolitans and densely populated suburbs. Port Hope is a historic town, and much of its 19th century cityscapes are preserved to this day. Residents can enjoy both mentally and physically stimulating excursions, with the Cameco Capitol Arts Center and the Port Hope Conservation Area being just two of the many spots to enrich your retirement.

10. Ajax

Insider Monkey Score: 12.08

Livability Score: 93

Median Home Price: CAD$ 959,000

IM Cost of Living: 117.6

Ajax is located in the Durham Region and with one of the highest livability scores in our list, it is one of the best places to retire in Ontario. Ajax has a vast coastline to Lake Ontario, through which it offers numerous waterfront parks and trails to its residents. It is also home to the Greenwood Conservation Area and right next to the Lynde Shores Conservation Area, thus enriching your retirement with endless natural beauty.

9. Peterborough

Insider Monkey Score: 12.38

Livability Score: 81

Median Home Price: CAD$ 680,000

IM Cost of Living: 102.2

Peterborough is a vibrant and dynamic destination located just 100 miles Northeast of Toronto. It is considered one of the best places to retire and has numerous retirement communities to choose from. It also hosts the Peterborough Senior Hockey League for residents over 55 years of age. Apart from excursions such as cultural events, music festivals, and riverfront parks, it also offers great healthcare through the Peterborough Regional Health Center.

8. London

Insider Monkey Score: 12.42

Livability Score: 82

Median Home Price: CAD$ 700,000

IM Cost of Living: 103.1

London offers a perfect blend of urban amenities with endless natural beauty. It is referred to as the “Forest City”, and the city remains adorned with lush parks, hiking trails, and waterways. London lies at the center of 3 of the great lakes, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, and Lake Huron. Apart from its scenic attractions, it also offers plenty of arts & culture, entertainment, and comfort, owing to which it was named in our list of 21 Best Places to Retire in Canada.

7. Kitchener

Insider Monkey Score: 13.19

Livability Score: 87

Median Home Price: CAD$ 700,000

IM Cost of Living: 107.6

Kitchener is one of the top places to retire in Ontario if you wish to enrich your retirement with cultural activities. It hosts the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest which is Canada’s largest Bavarian festival, Holi, and a range of other cultural events, making it one of the most diverse and entertaining retirement destinations in Canada. It also offers excellent healthcare, reliable public transport facilities, and some of the best retirement communities in Ontario.

6. Guelph

Insider Monkey Score: 13.46

Livability Score: 90

Median Home Price: CAD$ 799,000

IM Cost of Living: 107.8

Known as the “Royal City”, Guelph is a destination with an abundance of identity and natural charm. Residents can immerse themselves within the history and culture of this city by visiting the Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate, The Arboretum at University of Guelph, or the Wellington Brewery. Moreover, it also houses the Guelph General Hospital, meaning that access to top-quality healthcare is uncompromised.

Click to continue reading and see the 5 Best Places to Retire in Ontario.

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Disclosure: none. 15 Best Places to Retire in Ontario is originally published on Insider Monkey.