Comfort Life - Your guide to retirement & care

The atmosphere is great

It's a puzzle: Why do many seniors from small towns and cities across Ontario move to retirement homes in Mississauga, which seems to be Ontario's retirement residence capital? Could it be they want to live in a city headed up by one of Canada's most famous seniors, 86-year-old Mayor Hazel McCallion? Possibly. But the likelier answer is that, wherever they lived before, their kids moved to Mississauga.

Audrey and Wally Cliff, both 85, are typical of the trend. The couple is from Kingston, but three of their children live-you know where.

"I broke my hip," says Audrey, "then I fell again." And Wally still feels the loss of not being able to drive anymore. "Our daughter is a nurse," says Audrey, "And she said this (Amica at City Centre) was the very best. We stayed for a week, and we really liked it. The atmosphere is great."

Sitting across from them in the cruise ship-sized lounge, Evelyn and Doug Blackburn agreed. They had lived in Bobcaygeon for 12 years in retirement; Evelyn didn't like it, so they bought a house in Whitby. "But it's a bedroom community," says Doug, 81. "We had no family or friends there, and in the daytime no one was around."

Their daughter, living in Mississauga, had watched City Centre being built, and tried to get them interested. Cost discouraged them at first. "Then we got health problems," says Doug, "and we couldn't look after ourselves. We tried having help, but it didn't work out, and we were going to restaurants all the time." With family encouraging them to make the move, says Doug, they got a financial expert to look at their finances. "They said it was doable. We had more than enough," he says.

Now they are in the swing of things at City Centre, where residents also hail from Niagara Falls, Welland, Guelph and other spots. And on Valentine's Day, along with Wally and Audrey and eight other couples, with bouquets and boutonnieres, they renewed their vows in front of a minister at the residence with champagne afterwards. "That was quite a day," says Doug.

Comfort Life also lists retirement homes in Mississauga.

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