Etobicoke Retirement Homes
The complete guide to finding a retirement community in the Etobicoke region
Etobicoke, what used to be a municipality of Toronto is now one of the Greater Toronto Area’s most diverse suburban cities with a number of public parks and a low population density. This makes Etobicoke an ideal spot for seniors who like more space and want to remain close to but not live directly in the downtown core areas of Toronto.
Table of Contents
- List of Retirement Homes in Etobicoke
- Retirement home communities in Etobicoke
- Retirement community benefits, services and amenities
- Etobicoke retirement community regulations
- Availability and cost of retirement homes
- Other medical and safety services
- Getting around Etobicoke
- How to choose a retirement home
List of Retirement Homes in Etobicoke
Retirement homes in Etobicoke
With a variety of retirement communities to choose from, older adults in Etobicoke can find a residence that suits their needs and interests. From independent living (link), assisted living (link), long-term care (link) and Alzheimer’s care (link), there’s a community for just about everyone.
Many of these communities offer the option to start care independently and transition to additional care packages as health and lifestyle needs change over time. This allows seniors to remain in the same community with a variety of medical and support services available and not need to move elsewhere as needs fluctuate. Residents can rest assured they are safe and well looked after with the ability to stay involved in their community and continue to enjoy their day to day activities.
Retirement community benefits, services and amenities
Etobicoke retirement communities provide a number of amenities, programs and services to help support each senior’s unique interests and health needs. These include in-house entertainment programs, exercise and wellness programs, scheduled transportation to and from activities and appointments, and special dietary considerations for meals and optional meal plans as well as medical administration.
To assist in keeping their residents active and social, residences often provide any of (but not limited to) these additional options:
- Movie nights
- Arts and crafts
- Brain fitness
- Spa/beauty salon
- Games room
- Golfing/putting green
- Day trips
Extra opportunities such as volunteering, church services and continuing education are other examples of how communities keep their residents inspired and involved on a daily basis, with the option to branch out into the wider surrounding community.
Residents who are fairly mobile and want to explore everything Etobicoke has to offer can choose from:
- Museums, galleries and theatres
- Historic sites
- Parks with walking and hiking areas
Etobicoke has a strong local arts community with free Saturday afternoon arts classes, photography for adults and seniors, writing classes and dance classes, as well as ongoing exhibits, festivals and events.
There are a number of seniors centres and day clubs for older adults that offer activities such as table tennis, crafts, ceramics, sewing, visual arts programming, healthy eating and cooking classes, women peer support programs, cultural celebrations, and health and wellness workshops and seminars. There are workshops available for learning more about income tax, diabetes education, leadership development and many programs and services that promote recreation, education and social well-being. Learn more about these clubs here.
Retirement communities in Etobicoke also offer various religious services to meet their residents’ spiritual needs with the addition of surrounding places of worship such as Islington United Church, St. Clement Roman Catholic Church, and St. James United Church.
Popular annual events in Etobicoke include Doors Open Toronto in late May, the Mimico Village Tulip Festival at the end of May, the Taste of Kingsway in the fall with live entertainment, international cuisine and fresh food markets, and the Annual Cavalcade of Lights in late November.
Within Etobicoke, Centennial Park offers residents a number of walking trails and picnic areas, in additional to the Etobicoke Olympium, Centennial Arena and Centennial Park Conservatory. The Olympium and Conservatory will both play host to the 2015 Pan Am Games.
Retirement communities can provide access and transportation to many of the above activities and services, as well as shopping areas like Sherway Gardens and Humbertown Shopping Centre.
Etobicoke retirement community regulations
Retirement communities in Etobicoke are mandated under the Retirement Home Regulatory Authority (RHRA), which required existing residences to become licensed as of July 3rd, 2012. This license requires homes to continuously undergo inspections by the RHRA and receive approval to operate.
Retirement homes in Etobicoke can also be members of provincial and national associations, including:
- The Ontario Retirement Communities Association (ORCA)
- Older Adult Centres’ Association of Ontario (OACAO)
- The Canadian Association of Retired People (CARP)
- The Ontario Community Support Association
- The Ontario Association of Community Care Access Centres (OACACC)
- The Ontario Home Care Association (OHCA)
- The Ontario Long-term Care Association (OLTCA)
- AdvantAge Ontario (formerly the Ontario Association of Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors: OANHSS)
Availability and cost of retirement homes
The vacancy rates for all bedroom types in Etobicoke, including bachelor and one-bedroom independent living suites, decreased overall from 7.3 in 2013 to 3.9 in 2014. Private/studio vacancy rates decreased from 10.1% to 8.2% and one bedrooms decreased from 6.8% to 1.9%.
In Ontario the vacancy rate for standard spaces increased from 13.4% to 13.9% in 2014 and the overall total vacancies increased for the first time in three years. Except for Ottawa, all regions of Ontario increased in occupancy, with more than 90% of the increase due to one-bedroom suites.
In 2014, the average rent in Ontario (link to provincial hub) increased by less than 1 per cent to $3,236 a month, with new spaces in the province charging over $3,000 standard. According to CMHC, 53% of all units in Ontario are priced above $3,000. Vacancy rates for spaces in Etobicoke priced at $3,501 and more decreased from 6.2% to 3.2%, with an overall decrease from 7.8% to 4.2%.
Based on Comfort Life communities in Etobicoke, residence fees vary anywhere starting from $3,050 to $4,900. These rates fall in the median range of the nationwide average (link to Canada wide cost hub) of $1,475 to $6,000.
To help make retirement homes in Etobicoke more affordable, many seniors employ a combination of their pensions, RRSPs, CPP and other income to help pay the monthly fee while others add in the profit from the sale of their home or receive help from family members. Those in need of additional financial help can contact the City of Toronto’s Affordable Housing Office for assistance and additional information.
Other medical and safety services
In order to enhance seniors’ health, many Etobicoke retirement homes offer a variety of on-site exercise programs, medical administration and supervision services, physical therapy, and may provide additional care such as dental care, occupational therapy and on-site doctors or nurses, or doctors who visit the residence once or a few times a week. In terms of security, communities ensure their resident’s safety with call bell systems, emergency phone systems, and exterior security systems. Additional medical programs may be available as needed from a third-party when the level of care exceeds what the retirement community can provide and a CCAC (link) may be able to cover the associated fees.
The Ontario Trillium Drug Program (TDP) can also help by offsetting high prescription drug costs relative to their household income, covering a number of approved drugs and supporting nearly anyone who has an Ontario health card, lives in Ontario and is a senior over the age of 65 years of age.
The Mississauga Halton Community Care Access Centre, Etobicoke and York Community Care Access Centre, Alzheimer Society of Toronto, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, and Parkinson Society of Canada are all local and nearby community organizations that can assist seniors with information and resources, and also involve them further in the wider community.
Getting around Etobicoke
For seniors interested in taking public transportation, there are three GO Stations: Mimico, Etobicoke North and Long Branch that can transport residents and visitors around the city or surrounding areas, plus a number of buses that run through Etobicoke often.
A range of private transportation and assist companies also service Etobicoke and the surrounding GTA, included in the following listings.
Etobicoke transportation options:
- GO Transit - http://www.gotransit.com/public/en/fares/tickettypes.aspx - 65 years or over - Senior single-ride fare is half the adult single-ride fare.
- Driving Miss Daisy Etobicoke - http://etobicoke.drivingmissdaisy.net/ - With service in English or French, provides transportation to various medical appointments, day programs, Alzheimer’s companionship, social event accompaniment, vacation accompaniment, personal shopping and more.
- Wheel-Trans - https://www.ttc.ca/WheelTrans/About_Wheel_Trans_Service/index.jsp - Door-to-door accessible transit service for persons with physical disabilities using accessible buses, contracted accessible and sedan taxis. "Registered users are eligible for Wheel-Trans based upon their level of physical functional mobility in the home, within the area immediately surrounding the home and in the community at large, as well as permanency of disability. Eligibility is not based on particular disabilities, general health or income.” Service is provided anywhere within the City of Toronto for a regular TTC fare.
- Able Transport Ltd - www.abletransport.ca - Individual and group transportation for individuals who are permanently or temporarily injured to area hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, medical clinics, and other organizations.
- Taxi Services such as Wheelchair Taxi Ontario Limited and Kingsboro Taxi.
Additional transportation options are available through Etobicoke community centres and organizations such as Seniors for Seniors and Circle of Care.
Etobicoke is a collection of old neighbourhoods with a long history that predates amalgamation into Toronto and the GTA. One of those, for example, is Rexdale. Studies show that the 65-and-over population makes up a record 13.7% of the total population of Canada, and Rexdale is about even with the national average. Rexdale itself is home to a variety of senior housing, where the availability of local health care, along with social activities and outdoor trips add charm to senior living here, and elsewhere in Etobicoke.
How to choose a retirement home
The process of searching for a retirement community may be overwhelming but thinking of it in terms of the basics can be the first step to an easier transition. What truly matters to you to have in a community? What’s the most you’re willing to pay? Is location a factor in your decision?
If you’re not sure whether you want to move just yet, the following questions can also help you figure out if you may be ready sooner than you think.
- Do you want to stay active but be freed from housework or making meals?
- Is living independently becoming more difficult? Do you feel lonely or isolated?
- Is maintaining your current home becoming too onerous?
- Are you able to meet your personal care needs?
- Are daily tasks such as shopping and cooking becoming too much of a burden or would you rather have help?
- Are you worried about falling or becoming ill and not being able to get help?
- Do you want easier access to recreational and social activities?
- Do you want to live near others your age?
Did you answer yes to one or several or all of these questions? Then it may be time to start your search. Visit our page for seniors considering a retirement home for more common questions like these and concerns about retirement living that may be helpful.
Once you decide you’re ready, keep in mind that each retirement community will have its own unique features and that it’s important to find one that speaks to your interests and needs. The best way to go about this is to figure out what you really need in a community versues what would be nice to have. Which services and organizations are important to you to have close by? Do you prefer to live an area that’s closer to family?
Think about your finances, too. What can you afford on a monthly basis? Remember that some retirement homes have additional services that aren’t included in the monthly fee and that you will want to have extra money available each month for miscellaneous expenses. If you need some assistance figuring out what type of retirement community you can afford, download the Retirement Calculator to help you compare your current costs of living.
When you begin to build your shortlist of retirement communities, make sure that they:
- Meet your short and long-term medical needs
- Are affordable now and in the future
- Can grow with your needs as your activity and medical levels change over time
Those interested in long-term care facilities should prepare for the possibility of being put on a waitlist. CCAC experts suggest that semi-private and private accommodations generally cost more but may have shorter wait times. Other factors may affect average wait times, such as the type of accommodation requested, whether there is a crisis, ethno-cultural preferences, or if there are particular medical care needs. Please contact the designated associations mentioned above or the retirement community of your choice directly for more information, including specifics about wait times.
Note also that an Etobicoke long-term home can be used for a brief respite care stay for seniors who may have suffered a stroke or other serious trauma. Home care services in Etobicoke also offer excellent nursing care in the home, if full time supervision is not required. As an aside, long term care is the more proper term applied to facilities that were sometimes called nursing homes in the past.
Without a doubt, the best way to get a good idea of what a retirement community is like and if it would be a good match for you is to take a tour or even arrange to stay overnight. Overnight stays are the perfect opportunity to experience living at that residence and to question staff and current residents. Ask yourself if you could envision yourself there and if the community can accommodate all of your needs. Have any concerns? Voice them directly during your visit. You can even download the Ultimate Retirement Tour Checklist to take with you when you begin touring so you don’t forget what to ask.
Although the process of finding a retirement community may take some more time than you initially expected, once you settle on the best residence for your needs and lifestyle, it will certainly be time well spent. Learn more about choosing a retirement home or contact the residences below to get started with your search.
Source: CMHC Seniors’ Housing Survey 2013-2014