15 Best Places to Retire in Canada in 2022

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by Enoch Omololu

Updated

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When it comes to the best place in Canada to retire, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, you want to consider your budget and what matters most to you. 

If you’re looking for the warmest places in Canada to retire, you’ll want to consider BC. Whatever your preferences are, there’s a perfect place for you to call home. 

You’ve worked hard your whole life and now it’s time for you to enjoy the Golden Years. You don’t have to stay in the spot you’re living in. There’s a huge country with benefits in every province and you can relocate based on your wants and needs. 

To help you with your search, we have created an extensive list of the best places to retire in Canada

They’ve been chosen for their good weather, comfort, variety of amenities, accessibility to doctors, healthcare, and affordable housing. 

We have kept in mind that community counts, and have also highlighted the cheapest places to retire in Canada if you’re on a budget. 

How To Choose a Retirement Location in Canada 

You’re going to have your own preferences when it comes to the best place to retire in Canada.

This could be anything from the temperature to the number of hiking trails near you. You may have already created an intensive checklist to help you find your retirement location. 

Your personal preferences are just the beginning. You’re also going to need to stay within your budget. Living in Vancouver, BC on the west coast of Canada may be highly desirable but can you afford it on your budget? 

Here are the top considerations when it comes to finding the best place in Canada to retire.

Cost Of Living 

If you’ve saved a good amount of money for retirement, you still want to be cautious about where you decide to live. 

An expensive area of Canada can quickly deplete savings and you won’t have extra money for things like vacations. The cost of living includes things like:

  • Renting/owning expenses
  • Food prices
  • Transportation costs
  • Cost of medical care (each province has their own coverage and costs)
  • Cost of hobbies and interests
  • Costs of community activities and attractions

We sourced the average cost of living expenses information from Numbeo.

Housing Prices

Some of the best places to live in Canada are also the most expensive. Big cities like Vancouver and Toronto have the highest housing costs in the country. The prices for housing could put a big dent in your retirement savings. 

When you buy a home it’s considered an asset and how well it will appreciate is also a consideration. Rent prices will be reflected on how much housing is in the area. 

Weather  

If you have chronic conditions, like arthritis or fibromyalgia, you’ll want to consider a place that is warmer and more humid. There are some very cold areas in Canada but on the west coast of Canada, winters are milder. 

The west coast doesn’t see much snow either whereas Eastern Canada will often see many weeks of cold weather and snow.

In the summer, there are hot spots that can be equally as uncomfortable. Places like Winnipeg and Kelowna can get unbearably hot in the summer. 

Lifestyle

Do you want to live in a bustling city with a lot of amenities or a quiet, slower pace of living? As you try to figure out what the best place to retire in Canada is for you, you’ll want to consider your desired lifestyle. 

If you want to enjoy a simple life and focus on hobbies, a smaller place might be for you. If you have an outgoing personality and want to meet other people, you may want to consider living in the city. 

There are positives and negatives to each side so you really want to consider what your needs and wants are. 

Population

It’s highly likely that the warmest place to retire in Canada will be a larger city. Living in a bigger city gives you anonymity whereas when you live in a small town, you’ll probably get to know your neighbors. 

A more populated city means you’ll have access to facilities, activities, business, and amenities, and community offerings. Alternatively, you may want to be part of a close-knit community where people are more friendly and it’s quieter.

Property Taxes

It’s important to consider how much property taxes are going to be in the desired locations. When you’re looking at the best place to retire in Nova Scotia, you can bet it will cost less in property taxes than in a big city like Toronto. 

During your retirement years, the property tax rates can take a large chunk out of your savings. 

Accessibility to a Doctor

If you’re relocating and need to find another doctor, it’s important that you can get one. Even in smaller towns, there may be a waitlist to get your own doctor. 

If you can’t find one, you’ll be thrown back and forth having to explain your medical conditions to different doctors you see. It’s important for retirees to have a medical facility and doctors accessible. 

The concentration of doctors and how many people live in your desired area is something to take into account so you can get medical care when you need it without any hassle. 

Some places are better than others and we’re going to add this important information to our list of the best places to live in Canada.

Quality of Life

If you’ve always dreamt of living by the sea and you’re looking for the best place to retire in Canada on a budget, the East Coast is a great spot. If you want to experience culture and a wide range of restaurants, a city like Vancouver or Toronto could be right for you. 

The quality of life you want depends on your interests. Create a dream list of what you want to experience for retirement. Quality of life also includes the amount of crime in the area and how safe it is. It could be malls and shopping and easy access to nature. 

Best Places to Retire in Canada 

1. Victoria, BC

Stunning floral display at Butchart Gardens
Stunning floral display at Butchart Gardens
  • Population: 401,700
  • Cost of Living: A single person estimated monthly costs – $1,184 (without rent)
  • Weather: Average temperature – Summer 20°C/Winter 10°C
  • Lifestyle: Dense population, above-average costs, safe, and friendly.
  • Average housing costs: $1,161,500
  • Property taxes: 0.50%
  • Doctor per 100,000 people: +175

Victoria, BC is located on Vancouver Island and the downtown core is located right on the water. It ticks a lot of boxes in terms of being one of the best places to live in Canada.

It has a high doctor per capita rate with low property taxes if you can afford the initial purchase of a house. It is mild and one of the driest cities on the west coast. It is also one of the warmest places to retire in Canada.

Victoria is the capital of BC and is known as the Garden City so it’s not ideal if you have allergic reactions to pollen. It’s a great spot for those who are extroverted as there’s a vibrant community with a dense population. 

2. Vancouver, BC

vancouver
Beautiful view of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Population: 2,691,343
  • Cost of Living: $1,200.94 per person not including housing costs
  • Weather: Average Max Temp – Summer: 22°C/Winter: 8°C
  • Lifestyle: Expensive, healthy, bustling
  • Average housing costs: $1,373,063
  • Property taxes: 0.29%
  • Doctor per 100,000 people: 160

Vancouver has a lot to offer in terms of doctor care and lifestyle. It is considered to be the best place in Canada to retire if you have saved a lot of money for retirement years.

It’s one of the most “unaffordable cities in the world” while being one of the most liveable. 

Although it’s quite large, Vancouver is very safe, and BC itself has the best medical system next to Switzerland and Sweden. Whatever kind of medical assistance you need, it’s available in Vancouver. 

The weather is mild all year long and property taxes are low if you can manage to afford to buy here. Vancouver boasts Pacific Ocean shorelines and pristine beaches in many parts of the city.

There are also plenty of big-city attractions with as many opportunities to find peace in nearby nature. 

3. Halifax, NS

Harbor and downtown at night, in Halifax
Night view of harbor and downtown buildings, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Population: 440,332
  • Cost of Living: $1,210.98 per person not including housing costs
  • Weather: Average temperature – Summer 23°C/Winter 0°C
  • Lifestyle: Big city, affordable lifestyle, friendly people
  • Average housing costs: $406,000
  • Property taxes: 1.03%
  • Doctor per 100,000 people: +145

Halifax is a vibrant, upbeat city and at the top of our list for the best place to retire in Nova Scotia. It is definitely one of the best places to retire in Atlantic Canada.

As it’s ultimately the hub of the East Coast, this is where the doctors and healthcare facilities are. 

You’ll have access to coastal Atlantic shores and fresh seafood daily. As it’s seaside, you’re getting a nice breeze during warm summer days. 

The winters don’t get too cold either in comparison to other East Coast cities. The city itself is historic so just going for a walk around is enjoyable. Most activities you’ll experience will be centered around the seas. 

Buying a home here is reasonable while property taxes are average at 1.03%. You can take advantage of free healthcare with no premiums with Medavie Blue Cross, which operates under the province.

4. Kelowna, BC

Okanagan wine country in Western Canada, British Columbia. Landscape with vineyards and lake
Okanagan wine country in Western Canada, British Columbia. Landscape with vineyards and lake
  • Population: 217,229
  • Cost of Living: $1,107.34 per person not including housing costs
  • Weather: Average Max Temp – Summer: 27°C/Winter: 0°C
  • Lifestyle: Welcome to retirees, touristy, laid-back.
  • Average housing costs: $1,025,000
  • Property taxes: 0.527%
  • Doctor per 100,000 people: 137

Kelowna is a fantastic place for retirees but you’re going to pay for the luxuries available. The percentage of retirees here is above the national average. Living in the Okanagan has many perks like four seasons, dry weather, lakeside communities, and wine country. 

Housing is costly and it can be hard to find a place to buy or rent. There are various levels of living that are catered to the retirement community, however. You have the option of assisted living, long-term care homes, and independent retirement living. 

There are ample medical facilities including a hospital with over 700 beds, a decent amount of doctors per capita.

5. Ottawa, ON

Ottawa Parliament Hill building
Parliament Hill building in Ottawa, Canada
  • Population: 1,095,134
  • Cost of Living: $1,197.85 per person not including housing costs
  • Weather: Average Max Temp – Summer: 27°C/Winter: -11°C
  • Lifestyle: Family-oriented, historic, peaceful
  • Average housing costs: $697,982
  • Property taxes: 1%

Ottawa is the nation’s capital city with historical buildings scattered throughout the city. It’s not one of the warmest places to retire in Canada so if you’re hoping for mild winters, Ottawa probably isn’t for you. 

It’s got all the big city amenities and because it’s the capital, there’s a lot of pride in all the upkeep.

The city is quiet and clean with a high quality of life while the cost and property taxes are low in comparison to BC retirement places. Some of the best healthcare facilities are in Ottawa so you’ll have excellent medical care here. 

6. Fredericton, NB

New Brunswick Legislative Building
The New Brunswick Legislative Building in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The Second Empire style building opened in 1882.
  • Population: 66,000
  • Cost of Living: $1,156. 62 per person not including housing costs
  • Weather: Average Max Temp – Summer: 25.5°C/Winter: -15°C
  • Lifestyle: Small-town quaintness with amenities of a big city
  • Average housing costs: $266,164
  • Property taxes: 2.55%
  • Doctor per 100,000 people: +120

Fredericton is a small city that offers great amenities. It is the capital city of New Brunswick, a province that aims to take good care of the senior community.

It’s not crowded but still has a lot of facilities to make your life comfortable here. Property prices are extremely low, which should help offset higher property taxes. 

If you’re looking to rent, it’s very reasonable here. If you enjoy culture, there are a lot of historical attractions here as well as parks.

Fredericton is also a great place for nature lovers who also want big-city amenities. New Brunswick’s basic medical insurance is government-funded and includes most medically required services. 

7. Quebec City, QC

Quebec City skyline
Quebec City skyline over a river with blue sky and cloud.
  • Population: 542,298
  • Cost of Living: $1,068.99 per person not including housing costs
  • Weather: Average Max Temp – Summer: 25°C/Winter: -4°C
  • Lifestyle: European charm, heritage, quaint
  • Average housing costs: $310,000
  • Property taxes: 1.35%
  • Doctor per 100,000 people in Quebec: 97

Quebec City is unique in Canada as it’s mainly french speaking and has a very European feeling to it.

While it’s quite small, there is a great deal of culture here including a stunning walled city and unique heritage square overlooking St. Lawrence Square. 

Housing prices are very reasonable and so are property taxes, making it one of the cheapest places to retire in Canada on our list. The economy is robust here and it’s a safe place to retire with a very upbeat urban center. 

The province of Quebec in general has excellent health and social services, which are run by the same department free of charge.

Quebec also has the most doctors per capita in all of Canada so you’ll be able to find a family doctor easily.

8. Kingston, ON

The Kingston City Hall in Kingston, Ontario, Canada
The Kingston City Hall was completed in 1844
  • Population: 136,685
  • Cost of Living: $1,063.96 per person not including housing costs
  • Weather: Average Max Temp – Summer: 25°C/Winter: -3°C
  • Lifestyle: Moderate pace of life, healthy
  • Average housing costs: $546,400
  • Property taxes: 1.34%
  • Doctor per 100,000 people in Kingston: 138

While Kingston does have a large community of young people due to the large university here, it’s still a great place to retire. It’s a large enough city that you’re getting some great amenities with good shopping but it’s still quite laid back. 

There’s a lot of history too with old historical buildings and large trees filling green spaces throughout the city. They have a great transportation system and excellent medical facilities. Kingston General Hospital is the largest in the area. 

There are many outdoor places to be in nature and museums to peruse. Other activities include sailing, golfing, and fishing.

9. Saint John, NB

st john new brunswick
Saint John has a big tourism sector, having over 1.5 million visitors and 200,000 cruise ship visitors a year to shops, hotels, and landmarks
  • Population: 70,785
  • Cost of Living: $1,237.50 per person not including housing costs
  • Weather: Average Max Temp – Summer: 23°C/Winter: -1°C
  • Lifestyle: Friendly, vibrant, laid-back
  • Average housing costs: $253,336
  • Property taxes: 1.71%
  • Doctor per 100,000 people: 86

Right now, Saint John in New Brunswick offers the lowest real estate prices in Canada. It’s also known to be full of the happiest people in Canada. Saint John is right on the Bay of Fundy in Atlantic Canada. 

It’s got great energy and urban feel to it and with such affordability, you can do all the activities you dreamt of doing when you retire. This is an excellent retirement spot for those who love to fish or boat. 

Note that there are fewer doctors here and in recent years there have been waiting lists to secure a family doctor. However, there are excellent medical facilities for how small the city is. 

The median home price is $168,000 and if you’re looking to rent, a 2-bedroom is $825 on average. In terms of the cheapest places to retire in Canada, look no further than Saint John.

10. Calgary, AB

Peace Bridge in Calgary
Peace Bridge across Bow River in Calgary on a sunny day, Canada
  • Population: 1,585,900
  • Cost of Living: $1,198.33 per person not including housing costs
  • Weather: Average Max Temp – Summer: 21°C/Winter: -2°C
  • Lifestyle: Fast paced, friendly, business
  • Average housing costs: $510,701
  • Property taxes: 0.75%
  • Doctor per 100,000 people in Calgary: 143

Calgary is one of the most populated cities in Canada but it’s still affordable. The taxes are lower as well thanks to the oil industry within the province of Alberta. Not only is the cost of living low but so are the property taxes. 

It’s a dry climate so it’s good for those who suffer in a humid climate. The downside of the weather is that it can get extremely cold during the winter.

Calgary is a friendly city that’s safe and upbeat. It is one of the best places to retire in western Canada when it comes to affordability.

11. London, ON

london ontario
An aerial of London, Ontario, Canada on a clear day
  • Population: 383,300
  • Cost of Living: $1,131.30 per person not including housing costs
  • Weather: Average Max Temp – Summer: 20°C/Winter: -6°C
  • Lifestyle: Laid back, casual urban 
  • Average housing costs: $707,219
  • Property taxes: 1.34%
  • Doctor per 100,000 people: 111

London has a great location, close to Niagara Falls and Toronto. It’s affordable and is a fairly big city on its own. Despite all that, it has a lot of green space with the nickname, “Forest City.” This is a great spot for nature lovers. 

London boasts plenty of medical facilities and practitioners with experts in specific fields. There are heavy snowfalls here during winter and during the summer, it’s hot and humid.

12. Canmore, AB

canmore alberta
The Rocky Mountains near Canmore, Alberta, Canada
  • Population: 14,798
  • Cost of Living: $1,378.56 per person not including housing costs
  • Weather: Average Max Temp – Summer: 23°C/Winter: -4°C
  • Lifestyle: Small-town friendliness, nature, easy living
  • Average housing costs: $1,373,063
  • Property taxes: 0.48%
  • Doctor per 100,000 people: 24

Canmore is a stunning town tucked into the Canadian Rockies and a great spot for nature lovers. If you’re looking for the cheapest places to retire in Canada, Canmore will not fit the bill with average housing prices close to or over C$1,000,000. 

It’s an exclusive area with a vibrant community for seniors. There is the Canmore Seniors Association, a highlight of the town. Through annual membership, you can take part in indoor and outdoor activities and social events. 

If you like to ski or get in on outdoor sports, there is downhill skiing, cross country skiing, outdoor rinks, and much more.

In the summer, it’s a great spot for golfers, hikers, tennis players, and cyclists. There are plenty of doctors for the number of people living in Canmore.

13. Burlington, ON

burlington ontario
An aerial view of the Burlington Pier, Ontario, Canada
  • Population: 183,000
  • Cost of Living: $1,262.15 per person not including housing costs
  • Weather: Average Max Temp – Summer: 27°C/Winter: 2°C
  • Lifestyle: Nature, laid-back, social
  • Average housing costs: $951,485
  • Property taxes: 0.76%
  • Doctor per 100,000 people: 102

Burlington is a leisurely small city with 115 parks so it’s a great spot for nature lovers. There’s easy access into Toronto so while you can access plenty of amenities and medical services in Burlington, there’s much more in the metropolis city nearby. 

There’s a strong community here with a love for the arts. There is a hospital in town and nearby there is the town of Hamilton that takes care of emergencies. 

Burlington comes with a high cost when you compare it to other small cities in Ontario. There are co-op opportunities and a variety of retirement living opportunities. 

14. Charlottetown, PEI

charlottetown canada
Small fishing boats in a calm blue harbor on Prince Edward Island in Canada
  • Population: 36,094
  • Cost of Living: $1,267.63 per person not including housing costs
  • Weather: Average Max Temp – Summer: 23°C/Winter: -3°C
  • Lifestyle: Friendly, scenic, quaint
  • Average housing costs: $342,049
  • Property taxes: 1.67%
  • Doctor per 100,000 people in Charlottetown: 138

Prince Edward Island is a place of dreams and one of the best places to retire in Atlantic Canada. The cost of living is very low and the scenery is mindblowing if you can handle the rainy days. 

The crime rate is low here and they have made it appealing for retirees with low property taxes and affordable housing. There are a variety of retirement homes and housing options for seniors. 

People are incredibly friendly here as well so if you’re social, this is a great place to be. The PEI government also has many Senior Programs to make life easier if you come to live here. 

15. Winnipeg, MB

Winnipeg Manitoba
Winnipeg panorama at sunset. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • Population: 763,900
  • Cost of Living: $1,134.10 per person not including housing costs
  • Weather: Average Max Temp – Summer: 26°C/Winter: -11°C
  • Lifestyle: Big city feeling, friendly, artsy
  • Average housing costs: $374,000
  • Property taxes: 2.75%
  • Medical offices: 765

If you can handle the chilly winters, Winnipeg offers a lot for retirees. The summers are hot and humid while the winters are long and cold. It’s very affordable, however, even with higher than normal property taxes. 

If you’re looking for the cheapest places to retire in Canada, this is definitely one of them. You can still enjoy big-city amenities with plenty of medical facilities.

There are a total of 87 walk-in clinics. Winnipeg is also a foodie hub without the premium costs so if you enjoy going out for meals, you’ll love Winnipeg.

Conclusion

These Canadian cities all offer a lot for those of you who are ready to retire.

The top best places to retire in Canada have excellent lifestyles with plenty of doctors but they’re very expensive. Atlantic Canada is generally less costly but they also have fewer social offerings and are often pretty cold in the winter. 

When choosing the best place to retire in Western Canada or Atlantic Canada, know your budget and what you want. This makes it easy to determine where you’d like to live. 

Related:

15 Best Places to Retire in Canada in 2022

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Author

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Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch has a passion for helping others win with their personal finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. He has been featured or quoted in The Globe and Mail, Winnipeg Free Press, Wealthsimple, Financial Post, Toronto Star, CTV News, Canadian Securities Exchange, Credit Canada, National Post, CIBC, and many other personal finance publications.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO, monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell, and earns interest on savings through EQ Bank.

6 thoughts on “15 Best Places to Retire in Canada in 2022”

  1. This is a good, informative article. The pictures for each city make the places look inviting.

    There are a couple of typos that need to be corrected:
    – Remove multiple copy/paste instances of “Quebec:” for the “doctors” info for Kingston, Calgary, and Charlottetown.
    – The average housing cost in Winnipeg is $374,000, not $34,000.

    • @Jeremy: Good catch on the typos. The content has been updated. Cheers!

  2. Enjoyed the article. A great snapshot of the places given. I’m wondering though if you’ve ever done an article on the best places to retire worldwide (for Canadians). I’d love to see that. Thanks for your great work!

    • @Dave: Thanks for your feedback. I will add the “best places to retire worldwide” to my to-do list. Cheers!

  3. Enoch – I really enjoy your articles. They’re well written, and both informative and easy to follow, which is quite a feat considering the complexity of the subject matter. If you every write a book on personal finance, I’d buy it.

    Quick question on Kelowna – you make note of the expensive housing costs in the writeup, but the metric states a very low average housing cost of 413K. Is this missing a zero? 😉

    cheers

    • @Kev: You are right, that’s the avg price for condos. I also updated some others with numbers for January.

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