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    Shelter Cove is able to meet the demands of today's home buyers by utilizing over 30 years experience of building, developing, marketing, selling and managing numerous communities throughout Ontario and the United States. Shelter Cove has recognized the dramatic increased demand for vacation and recreational properties for both seasonal and permanent accommodations. By way of expanding and improving existing communities or acquisition of new properties architecturally planned and designed to provide for all aspects of both recreational and permanent homes, Shelter Cove provides the ...



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A Guide to 55+ Active Living Communities in Ontario


Plan Your Ideal Retirement in Ontario

If you’re looking to prioritize spending time in the great outdoors during your retirement but you’re also someone who enjoys metropolitan areas for shopping and dining, the Province of Ontario may be perfect for you!

The province is leading Canada in the growth of the 55+ age group, with the number of seniors forecasted to double in the next twenty-five years! The interest in active older adult communities in Ontario is growing, especially in cities such as Ottawa and Toronto.

Ontario is the largest of Canada’s provinces in terms of population, and the second largest in terms of land area, so there’s lots for seniors to explore! The region is teeming with history, with many local indigenous communities and plenty of museums, points of interest, and other resources for learning about the past.

It’s long been a favorite among seniors for its incredible natural vistas, which include mountainsides, lakes, and bays. Ontario offers 55+ adventurous adults opportunities to stay active and healthy by biking, hiking, birdwatching and more! Like much of Canada, winter sports are popular in Ontario, whether they’re outdoor adventures like skiing, sledding, and snowboarding or indoor activities like curling and ice skating.

The Great Lakes region is perfect for seniors looking for cool summer temperatures and natural beauty to explore. Snowbirds who spend part of the year in warm weather destinations such as Florida and Arizona can spend the summer months exploring Lake Superior and Lake Huron, plus Lake Ontario and Lake Erie in its southern reaches of the province.

You’ll find many ways to travel from Ontario, including from four international airports! The major international airports of Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) and Ottawa International Airport (YOW) offer direct flights to destinations in North America, Europe, the Middle East and throughout the world.

For nearby vacation options during retirement, the Hudson Bay in the north of Ontario features cruise ports. Ontario stretches all the way to the US border, encompassing popular destinations like Niagara Falls and connecting with the northern states of Minnesota, Michigan, and upstate New York.


Regions and Areas of Interest in the Ontario Province

Ontario’s highly diverse regions ensure there’s an ideal place to live for just about anyone. The province features ways for seniors to stay active and learn about history no matter where you plan to spend your retirement.


The fairly mild climate of Southwestern Ontario makes the region well-suited to agriculture, which means you can always enjoy a farm-fresh meal at a local restaurant.

Towns in this region, including Nanticoke, London, Sarnia, and Waterford have great breweries and wineries. Around this area, you will find lakeside beaches and forests that are great for hiking.


Home to Niagara Falls, the Niagara region of Ontario is a growing destination for 55+ active adults, which means lots of attractions, stores, and dining options.

Nearby you’ll find suburbs like Grimsby and Pelham which have a more small-town feel. Welland lies along both railways and waterways. Fort Erie has major historic landmarks from the War of 1812, and Vineland is full of orchards and vineyards.


The beautiful landscapes and cultural and historic sites of Hamilton-Halton-Brant make it an appealing location for retirement!

High-end shopping districts await in Georgetown and Oakville, and Burlington is home to a large botanic garden and an art gallery.


The area of Huron-Perth-Waterloo-Wellington has an outstanding cultural scene, beautiful beaches, and interesting markets. Tucked away in this region, you’ll find communities like St. Mary’s, Kitchener, and Goderich.

Greater Toronto

Greater Toronto is defined by its proximity to the large metropolis city of Toronto, which has a diverse population and a nationally-recognized sports scene.

Nearby towns like Brampton and Mississauga offer easy access to the attractions in Toronto. Seniors love the option to take public transportation into the city for dinner or a Maple Leaf’s game, all for a more affordable cost of living and with a more laid-back, historic feel!


Just north of Toronto lies York-Durham-Headwaters, which has a booming culinary scene, nature parks, and trails.

Notable towns in this region include Unionville and Port Perry, historic neighborhoods with parks and festivals, and Oshawa, the center of Canada’s automobile industry.


With stunning landscapes and natural wonders, Blue Mountains and bayside Wasaga Beach in the Bruce-Grey-Simcoe region are ideal for outdoorsy types looking to stay active!

Spend your retirement hiking, biking and exploring nature in Kincardine, Midland, Barrie, Collingwood, and Thornbury.


Kawarthas-Northumberland features hiking trails and quaint, local businesses, with a large craft beer, wine, and cider scene. Towns like Brighton, Cobourg, and Port Hope have a tucked-away charm.


Southeastern Ontario features 55+ communities located in Bath, Amherstview, Napanee, Picton, and Kingston, many of which offer residents access to natural beauty and outdoor activities like biking and golf.


Ottawa is a major hub of entertainment for seniors, with a diverse population and many great spots to shop and dine on international cuisine.

Attractions like music festivals, large ice skating rinks and the NHL’s Ottawa Senators are all draws for 55+ active adults that want to stay busy during their retirement.

Haliburton Highlands

Best known for its natural attractions and wilderness centers, Haliburton Highlands is a top choice for active seniors in Ontario!

Immerse yourself in nature on canopy tours and wildlife walks, located near the trendy town of Arnprior, home to upscale stores, restaurants, and museums.

Algonquin-Muskoka-Parry Sound

Algonquin-Muskoka-Parry Sound has been referred to as the cottage country of Ottawa thanks to its quaint vibes and abundance of wildlife.

The region’s archipelago is ideal for kayaking and towns like Huntsville have walkable downtowns with local shops and annual festivals.


The vibrant cultural scene of Northeastern Ottawa is only matched by its history, as the region has a large indigenous population and many educational museums near historic sites.

The industrial town of Sudbury offers seniors easy access to beautiful lakes and waterfront views.

Sault Ste Marie- Algoma

Sault Ste Marie and the region of Sault Ste Marie- Algoma are located along the Michigan coast at the Canada-US border.

The area is a transportation hub, and has many lakes, historic locales, and art galleries, resulting in a vibrant local culture!


Seniors who retire in Northwest Ontario will live among older buildings, showcasing historic architecture with a small-town vibe.

Small cities like Kenora offer 55+ adults who love the water seemingly endless opportunities to stay active by hunting, boating, and fishing.


Enticing Things to Do in Ontario Year Round

There are dozens of ways to stay active in Ontario, many of which are well-suited for seniors.

On warm days, participate in activities like biking, hiking, and canoeing. On colder days, visit the community gym or clubhouse to stay warm. Adventurous seniors can also try winter sports, which are a beloved pastime for Canadians!

Activities Located Within 55+ Communities

If you’re looking to live an active lifestyle during your retirement, you can’t do much better than Ontario’s senior communities, which are filled with options for residents to enjoy right on the property!

Master planned 55+ communities offer seniors ways to stay fit, group activities, and fellowship with like-minded community members.

Join in With Indoor and Outdoor Fitness

Staying active during retirement is easy in Ontario, as 55+ senior communities offer access to walking and biking trails on-property and outdoor activities like tennis and pickleball.

If you’d prefer to workout indoors, check out properties that have their own gym and provide guided exercise classes, making staying healthy convenient in any season!

No Need to Shovel Snow With Low-Maintenance Living

Many 55+ active adult communities in Ontario were designed with the needs of seniors in mind, including the desire to live a low-maintenance lifestyle.

While it snows in the winter months throughout Ontario, many senior communities include property maintenance such as lawn care in the summer and snow removal in the winter.

Stop by the Community Clubhouse

Mingle with members of your community as you make use of the services provided by your community clubhouse.

Master planned communities for seniors often employ an Activities Director who organizes group exercise classes, plus interest groups for activities like dancing and book clubs. Stay mentally and physically active in the property’s rec center where there’s always a way to get involved!

Venture Off-Property for Fun & Excitement

While there are many things to do within Ontario’s 55+ communities, there are many more ways to stay active off-property. Try out winter sports, gamble at a casino, or plan an international vacation - the choice is yours!

Try a New Winter Sport

Canada is known for its winter sports, and Ontario is no exception. Favorites like snowboarding, skiing, and snowmobiling are all popular outdoor activities, alongside indoor options like curling and ice skating.

Winter sports are a great way to try something new and stay active during the colder winter months.

International Travel is Easy From Ontario

Are you planning a retirement full of vacations to far-off destinations around the world? If so, Ontario is the perfect spot for you, as there are many local travel hubs that allow for easy international travel.

Take a cruise around the Hudson Bay or across the Atlantic Ocean, or fly from one of Ontario’s international airports to explore tropical paradises around the globe!

Enjoy Ontario’s Casinos

Ontario is home to more than 70 casinos which can be found all around the province, with many clustered near metropolitan areas. Whether you’re playing the penny slots or trying to win big, casinos are a fun and exciting way for seniors in Ontario to spend their time in retirement.


Why Ontario is So Popular With Retirees

Ontario is an excellent choice for 55+ empty nesters who are considering retirement, thanks to its large offering of ways to stay active! From outdoor activities like skiing, hiking and golf to indoor attractions like gambling at casinos, Ontario has it all.

Canada’s most populous province also offers retirees convenient access to travel hubs and excellent medical facilities located near its 55+ communities. For nature loving seniors, Ontario also has lakes, bays and waterways perfect for boating, fishing, hunting, birdwatching or just relaxing and enjoying retirement!


Types of Senior Community Options Available in Ontario

Ontario features a variety of 55+ and all-ages communities designed to suit every preference, budget and lifestyle. Seniors can find everything from single story, free-standing homes to luxury apartment rentals with amazing city views and easy access to public transportation.

If living in a waterfront community appeals to you, lake-front communities often come with docks, community clubhouses, and maintenance staff, leaving retirees plenty of time to enjoy fishing, sailing, and exploring the shoreline.

Communities available in Ontario that are geared towards seniors are age restricted communities, 55+ communities, graduated care facilities and more!

Golf Course Communities

Ontario’s master planned golf course communities offer retirees direct access to the course and the perfect location for their new home!

Putting greens, driving ranges, and clubhouses are standard in this style of community. Private resident access, age-restrictions, pro shops, and private dining are additional amenities commonly found when you purchase a new home for your retirement in an Ontario golf course community.

Manufactured Homes Communities

Manufactured homes communities are an ideal way to stay close to bustling cities without paying high rates for rent or mortgage.

These homes hit the sweet spot for seniors between being budget-friendly and offering the perfect amount of space. Downsizing empty nesters in Ontario can save on housing costs and spend more on staying active during their retirement when they choose to retire in a mobile home community!

Luxury Apartment Rentals

If you’re seeking a low-maintenance, all-inclusive retirement, Ontario has luxury apartment rentals available for seniors.

Apartment rentals are spacious and fully equipped with modern appliances. Properties offer top-tier amenities like fitness facilities and gate-access. Luxury apartments located near cities like Toronto also include nearby shopping and dining plus the ability for seniors to take public transport, limiting the need for a car!

Condominium Communities

Those who prioritize maintenance free communities in Ontario are often interested in condominium (condo) communities, which offer the freedom of having your own space without the inconvenience of exterior property maintenance. Condominiums give the “right-sizing” 55+ senior the option of living near friends, family, shopping, and places of worship.

Some Ontario condos also offer city views from high-rise one-, two-, or three-bedroom units which are especially beautiful in the evening!


Budgeting for Ontario’s Cost of Living

Ontario is Canada’s second largest province in terms of its size, offering 55+ seniors a wide range of community types and pricing options for a new home during their retirement.

Many age-restricted communities have lower housing costs than renting or purchasing property, while empty nesters can consider budget-friendly mobile homes and condos located near cities and in locations with natural beauty.  

More costly residences often balance out with easy access to public transportation and amenities like nearby dining and shopping. More affordable areas can be found near outdoor attractions like lakes and national parks.


Ontario Healthcare

Canadian retirees have access to public healthcare, which helps ensure that otherwise-costly medical procedures are nearly or fully covered by insurance. You can spend more time living an active lifestyle and less time worrying about healthcare expenses when you retire in Ontario.

While in need, top-quality care at renowned facilities like Toronto General, North York General, and The Ottawa Hospital is available for an affordable cost.