Ottawa Retirement Homes
The complete guide to finding a retirement community in the Ottawa region
As the capital of Canada and fourth largest city in the nation, Ottawa is renowned for its high standards of living and being a multicultural powerhouse based along the Ottawa River and Rideau River. In 2012 it was ranked by MoneySense as one of the best communities to live in Canada for the third year in a row and with a rich cultural history and architecture influenced by its highly political background, Ottawa is a beautiful bustling area for seniors with a number of excellent retirement homes.
- List of retirement homes in Ottawa
- Types of senior care
- Costs of retirement homes
- Medical services and safety
- Recreation and social activities
- Transportation for seniors
- Choosing a retirement home
- Retirement home regulations
List of retirement homes in Ottawa
Ottawa retirement homes are listed below. Click to view a community's full profile, or refine your search by accessing the map or advanced search views.
Types of senior care in Ottawa
Retirement homes in Ottawa are designed for the unique health needs and living style of seniors. The most common type of retirement homes in Ottawa and its surrounding area (including Kanata, Nepean, and Gloucester) are independent living and assisted living communities, on the more active side of the spectrum of care, (see image below).
Many Ottawa retirement communities offer both independent and assisted living services in their residence to allow for a continuum of care. Active, healthy seniors can choose an independent living suite and take advantage of the full dining, light cleaning and other services offered. For seniors with greater health demands an assisted living suite provides access to a greater level of medical care and staff time for health and other personal needs.
The advantage of choosing a retirement home that offers both independent and assisted living is that through this continuum of care seniors can remain within the community that is familiar and comfortable to them. They also continue to rely on the support of staff, friends and peers as their health demands change.
To narrow your search in Ottawa, click on a care type below:
- Kanata,Orleans,Ottawa Active Adult
- Kanata,Orleans,Ottawa Dementia & Memory Care
- Kanata,Orleans,Ottawa Assisted Living
- Kanata,Orleans,Ottawa Independent Living
- Kanata,Orleans,Ottawa Long-term Care
Costs of retirement care in Ottawa
Demand for retirement suites in Ottawa is increasing. In 2013 the vacancy rate in Ottawa fell by 10% for spaces charging between $2500-3000 a month. The high demand in the Ottawa area is due to a growing share of spaces charging higher rent. In fact, 50% of the total vacant suites in Ottawa cost $3500 a month or more.
In 2013 Ottawa’s rent increased by 7.7%, which marked the fastest rent growth by region in Ontario. A greater number of occupied spaces in new residences contributed to the larger rent growth, combined with a declining vacancy rate for two-bedroom suites.
The rent for Ottawa retirement homes listed with Comfort Life range from $2599 to $5500 a month, depending on the suite and level of care. Available suites include studios, 1 bedroom, 1 bedroom plus den and two bedrooms. Most suites offer a balcony view.
Retirement in Ottawa may seem expensive, but many seniors afford it by using a combination of their pensions, RRSPs, CPP and other income to pay the monthly fees. Other sources of income could include the sale of the family home and help from family members to cover costs.
Seniors in need of financial help should investigate the Trillium Drug Program (TDP), which helps seniors with high prescription drug costs relative to their household income. Almost anyone who has an Ontario health card, lives in Ontario and is a senior over the age of 65 is eligible to apply.
The City of Ottawa offers a number of resources for seniors including discounts and financial help with fees for recreation and cultural programs. For more information visit the City of Ottawa’s website.
Medical and safety services for Ottawa seniors
Montfort Hospital provides a wide range of programs available with a referral, such as cardiovascular and pulmonary health, diabetes, falls, rehabilitation, thrombosis, a sleep laboratory, and spiritual and religious services.
The Ottawa Hospital not only has a rehabilitation center, but a Cancer Program, Eye Institute, Heart Institute, and Foustanellas Endocrine and Diabetes Centre which treats a variety of endocrine and metabolic conditions like thyroid disease and osteoporosis.
Queensway-Carleton Hospital offers the Champlain LHIN Total Joint Assessment Program, cancer information, congestive heart failure clinic, fall prevention and a geriatric day hospital, which helps seniors with additional concerns surrounding the maintenance of their independence.
Independent and assisted living homes in Ottawa also have nursing staff on-site 24/7 and doctors who visit several times a week. Some residences have an on-site pharmacy, while others offer a travelling pharmacy service, medication supervision, oxygen assistance, physical therapy and other various care packages.
Other examples of health and support services in the community are Ottawa Public Health, which endeavors to help older adults maintain their independence and current health with such programs as Healthy Aging and Preventing Falls, and the Essential Health and Social Supports Program which helps those with low income with financial help for health related items such as prescription drugs and dental care.
Overall, police in Ottawa have seen a significance 11 per cent decrease in crime over the course of 2013, speaking to the commitment of law enforcement to continue keeping Ottawa a safe city for all of its residents. Retirement communities work hard to provide utmost care and safety for their residents at all times. Apart from seeing to health care needs and access to services, they often have suite call bell systems and emergency phone systems as part of their security measures.
Recreation and social activities in Ottawa
Retirement communities continuously strive to provide physical, emotional and social support to seniors alongside the medical care they need through the implementation of daily activities as well as new and ongoing programs developed by coordinators and highly trained staff.
Communities keep residents busy, active and social with activity plans and full recreation programs such as:
- Cards and games
- Billiards and pool tables
- Movie nights
- Musical concerts and entertainment brought into the residence
- Special celebrations of local festivals and holidays
- Cocktail evenings
- Brain Fitness
- Continued education programs
Retirement communities in Ottawa also provide seniors with a number of different bus trips and outings, including:
- Weekly BBQ lunches at local parks
- Weekly shopping trips to Carlingwood Mall and other local shopping centers
- Trips to nearby Montebello, Tremblant, Merrickville and Brockville
- Visits to casinos, shows, and heritage runs
Many retirement homes in Ottawa offer wellness programs focused on keeping seniors healthy and strong. With access to a nursing team, physiotherapist and personal trainer who will work one-on-one with residents, active seniors can enjoy the focus on their fitness and wellness, including balance, core, cardio and strength training.
Other common amenities built into Ottawa retirement homes include swimming pools, theatres, craft and horticulture rooms, gardens, gyms, pubs and cafes. Underground parking is another common convenience included in rent for seniors who have their own vehicles. For those who don't, there are a number of transit options, taxi's and weekly bus trips offered by each residence.
Active seniors requiring less medical care will appreciate the variety of amenities in the surrounding Ottawa area, including:
- Museums, galleries and theatres
- Historic sites
- Parks with walking and hiking areas (the Andrew Haydon Park and Rideau canal waterfront are popular choices)
A number of Ottawa’s most popular museums are situated close to Parliament Hill and explore much of Canada’s rich culture and history, such as the Canadian Museum of History, Canadian War Museum and Canada Aviation and Space Museum, as well as the National Gallery of Canada, Cumberland Heritage Village Museum, and Canada Science and Technology Museum.
While many of Ottawa’s retirement communities offer religious services, additional places of worship in the city include Saint Patrick’s Basilica, St. Luke’s Anglican Church of Canada, Joyful Land Buddhist Centre, Christ Church Cathedral, Knox Presbyterian Church, and Ottawa Mandarin Alliance Church. For additional faith services and locations, please ask your retirement communities of choice what’s available nearby.
For those interested in annual festivals and events, the National Women’s Show Ottawa (fall and spring), the Ottawa Winter Jazzfest, the Tulip Festival in early May and Glow Fair Festival are unique and exciting events to consider. Others include the Ottawa Dragonboat Festival, the Fringe Festival in June, the International Jazz Festival, Carnival of Cultures in June, Ottawa Bluesfest, Folk Festival, and Lumiere Lantern Festival. For additional festivals and events for specific times of the year, visit the Ottawa Tourism official website or check with the retirement community of your choice.
Pinhey’s Point, Rideau Canal and the public grounds of the Parliament buildings offer stunning views as examples of historic sites and common areas to walk or bike depending on a resident’s level of activity.
A number of other recreation facilities, classes, leisure groups and clubs are available to seniors in the area, including the Active Living Club 50+, which offers individual activities year-round or an annual membership, Big Band Dances at the Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre featuring classic 40’s and 50’s hits performed by Ottawa’s Big Bands, and cycling education programs.
There are city-operated seniors centres in both the east and west ends of Ottawa, as well as English and French community centres for seniors, such as the Abbotsford Senior Centre, Gloucester Senior Adults’ Centre, and the Roy G. Hobbs Seniors Centre. These centres offer programs and events that may not be available otherwise in the area and give seniors the opportunity to interact with other older adults in the community.
Getting around Ottawa
While volunteers in the wider community sometimes help with transportation needs for seniors in retirement communities, those looking to get around Ottawa independently and who don’t have access to a car often rely on:
- OC Transpo - Ottawa's public transit system. Both bussing and train transportation are available, and 100% of the OC fleet is wheelchair accessible.
- ParaTranspo - Door-to-door transportation service for people with disabilities, is also available. Discounts on the regular fare (per ride, weekly, and monthly) are offered to Seniors (65+).
- Private senior transportation services -Some home care companies offer transportation for seniors at retirement homes. Seniors can elect single events or set up a regular schedule. Rates and service hours vary.
- Taxi Services
- Water Shuttle Taxi Service – From May to October, eco-friendly shuttle boats taxi residents and visitors along the waterfront with boarding points at Casino du Lac Leamy, the Canadian Museum of History, and the locks behind Parliament Hill, according to the Ottawa Tourism website.
Rural Community Support Services are also available to those living in rural Ottawa who are looking for additional transportation options.
How to choose a retirement home
Have you thought about retirement living but you’re still not sure if you’re ready? Consider the following questions:
- 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?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions you may want to start considering a retirement community more seriously. For additional points to consider and common questions and concerns about retirement homes, please visit our page for seniors considering a retirement home.
Once you have decided that you’re ready to take the next step into researching retirement community options, keep in mind that each retirement community is unique, just like you, so it’s important to find a residence that truly speaks to you, where you’ll feel most comfortable and cared for.
How do you go about finding this? One of the very first steps is to determine what you want. What’s important to you in a community? What do you absolutely need? What would be nice to have? To get in introduction to choosing a retirement community, see the video below.
For more points to consider and some common questions and concerns about retirement homes, please visit our page for seniors considering a retirement home.
Next think about the area you’re looking into moving. What nearby services and activities are important to you to have close by? Do you want to be somewhere close to family or would you rather live somewhere that’s unique appealing to you?
Also think about what you can afford. Is there a certain monthly fee you won’t go beyond? Remember, there are some services that retirement homes offer that aren’t included in the monthly fee, so be sure to factor that into your overall budget. If you need some assistance figuring out what type of retirement community you can afford, be sure to download the Retirement Calculator to help you compare your current costs of living with what it would be like to pay for a retirement home.
Overall, ensure the retirement homes you’re considering:
- 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
It’s also important to ensure your medical needs are met, the residence you choose is affordable now and in the future, and that the home can grow with your needs as your activity and medical levels change over time.
For those who require a long-term care home, it’s likely that you or your loved ones will be put on a waitlist. According to CCAC experts, semi-private and private accommodations generally cost more but may have shorter wait times, and different factors may affect average wait times, such as the type of accommodation requested, if someone is in crisis, if there is an ethno-cultural preference, or if there are specific medical care needs. This type of residence is still referred to by some as a nursing home, although that phrase is no longer used by the health care industry. These are regulated by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care, focused on "building a sustainable public health care system in Ontario based on helping people stay healthy, delivering good care when people need it, and protecting the health system for future generations."
You can find information on wait times from the designated associations mentioned above or the retirement community of your choice directly.
The best way to figure out whether a retirement community is right for you is to take a tour of the home and visit with current residents and staff. What does the environment feel like to you? Is it somewhere you could envision yourself? If you’re able to speak with some of the residents, you may like to ask what they love most about their experience there. Talk to staff about any specific concerns you have and what they may be able to offer to accommodate your needs. Be sure to download the Ultimate Retirement Tour Checklist to take with you when you begin touring retirement communities on your shortlist.
If, after touring the community, you’re still unsure as to whether it’s the right place for you, many homes will offer overnight stays as an opportunity for you or your loved ones to get the full experience of what the residence has to offer. Take this opportunity to ask more questions and get as much feedback as you can to help inform your decision.
Read choosing a retirement home for more information, or contact the residences above to get started with your search.
Retirement home regulations in Ottawa
Like all retirement communities in Ontario, communities in the Ottawa area are subject to the Retirement Home Regulatory Authority (RHRA), which was created under the Retirement Homes Act of Ontario in 2010. The RHRA set a deadline of July 3, 2012 for existing residences to become licensed. Licensing requires retirement homes to receive approval from the RHRA in order to operate, and must undertake ongoing inspections by the RHRA to ensure they continue to comply with licensing requirements and safety standards.
Many retirement homes are also members of provincial associations. Ontario has a number of these associations, including:
- The Ontario Retirement Communities Association(ORCA)
- The Ontario Long-term Care Association(OLTCA)
- The Ontario Association of Non-profit Homes and Services for Seniors (OANHSS)
- The Ontario Home Care Association (OHCA)
Source: CMHC Seniors’ Housing Survey 2012-2013