When discussing the best spots to spend the golden years, most people probably imagine Florida, Costa Rica, or Italy. However, there is another place which is perfect for retiring. Maybe not as warm and sunny, but it offers a high quality of life and plenty of natural beauty.
You guessed it right – it’s Canada, and we have picked the 7 best places to retire. The country is vast, and you can find there everything from bursting urban areas and pristine coastlines to cozy countryside and snowy mountains.
There is something for everybody, both for locals and those wanting to relocate, so let’s have a look at what the best places are.
1. Victoria, BC
Victoria is a small town located on Vancouver Island where many people escape from the busier Vancouver. It’s set by the seaside which means that you get healthy sea air. Compared to other areas of Canada, there is also a pleasant climate.
What makes Victoria truly stand out for retirees is that they can live a pretty active life there. There are plenty of trails around for cyclists, runners, and hikers. Sailing, fishing, and kayaking are some of the other activities you can engage in.
The downside? The cost of real estate and the cost of living in general.
Population: 398,000 (Greater Victoria)
Cost of living per person: $2,300
2. Parksville, BC
Set about two hours north of Victoria, Parksville is another amazing place to retire in British Columbia. Having the highest number of seniors per capita, it has been labeled the country’s retirement capital. So what is it that lures them in?
First of all, the community is very welcoming. Also, the whole area is known for its Mediterranean climate and stunning beaches. The Strait of Georgia is home to diverse marine wildlife – you can watch whales and seals while sailing. Another thing that makes Parksville unique is that you can play golf there all year round – not quite common in other places.
Cost of living per person: $2,900
3. Vancouver, BC
If you prefer the buzz of a city, then Vancouver is the option for you. Not only does it offer a rich cultural scene, but it also provides plenty of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, kayaking, or whale watching.
What’s more, it boasts one of the best medical systems in the world and is family-friendly – your kids and grandkids will love it.
Similarly to Victoria, it’s rather pricey and will only be a good fit for those who have been saving for retirement for a while.
Population: 2.6 million (Greater Vancouver)
Cost of living per person: $1,700-$2,700
4. Calgary, AB
For those who still don’t want to give up on cosmopolitan life but are looking for something more affordable, there is Calgary. Housing is much cheaper than in Vancouver or Toronto (in August 2023, the average real estate price was $487,000). On top of that, the quality of life there is better – Calgary belongs to the top 10 most liveable cities in the world!
It’s just a stone’s throw away from Banff National Park and will please outdoor and winter sports enthusiasts. The weather there is also nice – did you know Calgary is Canada’s sunniest city?
Population: 1.64 million (Calgary Metropolitan Area)
Weather: Continental – dry and sunny
Cost of living per person: $1,900
5. Ottawa, ON
Not too big or crowded but still offers diverse culture and entertainment – that’s Ottawa, the capital of Canada. Like Calgary, it’s often ranked among the top cities in the country to live. And it’s not hard to tell why.
Plenty of parkland and greenspaces, museums, galleries, and friendly locals with whom you will connect in no time. What’s not to love?
Population: 1.5 million (Ottawa Metropolitan Area)
Weather: Humid continental climate with warm summers but freezing winters
Cost of living per person: $1,500
6. St. John’s, NL
St. John’s is the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador, which is located on the east coast. However, compared to other provincial capitals, it’s rather small which makes it very welcoming and also affordable.
It provides some high-quality healthcare facilities, such as the Health Sciences Centre and St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital, which is especially something to consider for retirees who need medical attention.
On the other hand, nature lovers will appreciate the breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean as well as a number of wildlife reserves, parks, and hiking trails.
Niagara Falls isn’t just the lush nature at Niagara Gorge. It also means budget-friendly housing, easy access to healthcare, and a pleasant microclimate which makes summers last longer than in other areas of Ontario Province.
And there is much more than that. You can easily hop to New York State and enjoy all it has to offer – wine tasting in the picturesque Hudson River Valley, whitewater rafting in the Adirondacks, or exploring the Big Apple.