Toronto is one of Canada’s top retirement destinations, but the cost of living within the city tends to be on the expensive side. Luckily, senior citizens are able to reduce their monthly expenditures through housing programs, free health care, affordable public transportation options and more.
A rising demand for housing and a short supply of available units has driven up the price of Toronto area homes in recent years. According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, the average selling price for all house types within the city reached $709,825 in July of 2016. Rental rates are also relatively high, costing Toronto locals a monthly average of $1,268 for a 1-bedroom unit and $1,493 for a 2-bedroom apartment. Households living on a limited income may be eligible to apply for rental assistance to help reduce their bills each month.
Seniors who require day-to-day assistance with eating, bathing, grooming and more can receive access to 24-hour nursing care and personal services through Toronto’s Long-Term Care Homes. Eligible seniors do not have to pay for care services, but must cover the cost of room and board. The California Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care sets maximum rates that a facility can charge for accommodation services, including caps at $70.35 per day for a semi-private room and $83.35 for a private room.
All Ontario residents are entitled to free health care through the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). In addition to standard medical and hospital care, OHIP covers community and mental health services along with a portion of the cost of prescription drugs. If you are new to Toronto, you will not be eligible for government health coverage for three months and should purchase temporary insurance from a private company.
Ontario residents tend to pay more for auto insurance than Canadians living in other provinces, with Toronto residents paying a premium for coverage. Annual rates can range from the low $2,000s to over $5,200 per year. Different companies offer different rates for drivers depending on age, gender, car make, and driving record.
Many seniors rely on Toronto’s public transportation system to get from point A to point B. Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) bus routes, subway lines and streetcars provide a fast and affordable way for locals to get around town without a car. Adults over 65 are able to buy tickets and passes at steeply discounted rates.
Having fun in Toronto doesn’t necessarily need to be an expensive affair. City residents can get out and explore local parks and beaches, or they can check out community centers where recreational programs are offered free of charge. Seniors can enjoy skating, swimming and other drop-in activities at these facilities without spending a dime. Toronto residents can also take advantage of museum discount days offered throughout the week at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Textile Museum of Canada, the Bata Shoe Museum, and more.
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