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Retire in Canada

William Russell Health Insurance
William Russell Health Insurance
William Russell Health Insurance
William Russell Health Insurance

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: Retirees share their experiences living in Canada. What are the challenges and rewards of retiring in Canada?

How do I meet people in Canada?

When we asked people living in Canada about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"I joined the Newcomers Club in my area. This is not the Welcome Wagon. Every member must be new to Canada within the past 2 years and we all help each other. It's marvelous! This is where those special life-long friendships are formed. Here's a few suggestions that are working for me: Take classes. Learn to play squash; join a running, rowing, or pickleball club. Get a part-time job doing something fun. Join a church, a knitting group, a soccer club. There are a million ways to put yourself out there. Just keep smiling and DO talk to strangers. (Don't listen to your mother.)," commented one retiree living in Canada.

"Most things happen in, on or around Okanagan Lake which divides Kelowna and West Kelowna. There are two waterfronts with walkways. Music in the park on Friday evenings during summer. Festivals, street parades, wine tasting, cherry picking, beaches, parks, bears, hiking, mountain biking," explained one retiree living in Kelowna.

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What is life like in Canada?

When we asked people living in Canada what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"There are many young families and lots of activity on the water in summer and in the snow during winter. Lifestyle - paradise in summer," explained a retiree in Kelowna.

"Career is top priority followed by family time which can consist of outings, socializing with others and taking the kids for after school activities like swimming, playing in the parks, joining sports teams. We like to cook at home and entertain at home as well. Everyone in Toronto loves either Hockey, Basketball, Baseball or all of the above. We are proud of our sports teams. In the summer the waterfront has a lot to offer both residence and tourists with arts, cultures, fairs and events for the whole family. Many like to go out to the country on the weekends when the weather permits. Norther Ontario is a beautiful part of the world," explained one retiree living in Toronto.

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William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

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William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

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What do I need to know before retiring in Canada?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Canada, they said:

"I have a relocation company in Toronto helping primarily corporate clients and their families from all over the world with all aspects of their move to Toronto. I also work with an affiliate who has assistants working across Canada. Together we can assist with government cards and forms, school admissions, home finding, city orientation and more. This is a great city, full of cultural resources, picturesque, loads of opportunities and very accepting of all cultures. We are one of the most multicultural cities in the world!!! Language training is abundant, public transportation, continuing education are all available at a reasonable cost. The cost of housing and the overall cost of living is high. In order for me to assist you, you must have your employment in place as there are not many people who will rent to you without this. Once you are working here legally you can get your medical coverage (OHIP) as well. I can direct you to the appropriate immigration lawyers, international movers, etc. as part of my service. Please feel free to drop me a line with your questions here: or visit my site at www.gtarelocation.com for more information," said another retiree in Toronto.

"Think twice. Not what you expect it to be. More laid back and very expansive and expensive. We may speak English, but Canadians and Americians are very different. Also, the weather here is very dreary and cold. Which is to be expected," commented one retiree living in Calgary, Canada.

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What type of recreational activities are there in Canada?

" Paddle boarding, kayaking, fishing, boating and other water activities are popular on the St. Lawrence River and many local lakes. Baie de Beauport is a beach is nearby Beauport that has summer day camps, food trucks, yoga and more. There are several golf courses located within a half hour of Quebec City. Tennis players can play at Tennis Montcalm (tennis & squash), Tennis Victoria and several other tennis clubs. Quebec Yacht Club is located at 1225 Boulevard Champlain and offers a few membership options, summer camps, a pool and a restaurant. There are a number of public pools in Quebec City. Indoor pools include Piscine Lucien Borne, Ferland Community Center, Piscine Wilfrid-Hamel. Outdoor pools include Piscine Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde, Piscine du parc du Musee and Marina Saint-Roch. Locals embrace winter. Carnaval de Quebec (aka Winter Carnival) is a long-running carnival that starts in late January or early February and lasts about 10 days. Au 1884 is a toboggan slide situated on the Dufferin Terrace next to the Chateau Frontenac that is open all winter. There are skating rinks at Place d'Youville, Plains of Abraham and a number of other locations. Ice hockey, figure skating, downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, sledding, ice fishing and snow shoeing are all very popular in the Quebec City area. ," explained one retiree living in Quebec City.

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Where will I buy groceries and do other shopping in Canada?

"Le March du Vieux Port is a sprawling public market located at 160 quai St-Andre in the Old Port. It's a fun place to shop for meats, cheeses, bread, pastries, fresh fruits and vegetables directly from local sellers. Depending upon where you live, there are small, neighborhood markets and larger grocery stores like L'intermarche, Maxi and Metro Plus. There are 3 Costco stores in the Quebec City area: Costco Sainte-Foy, Costco on Rue Bouvier and Levis. ," explained one retiree living in Quebec City.

" We visit Marches Public Market, specifically the Jean-Talon Market. It has so many fresh and freshly-prepared options. You can eat there and then bring home all kinds of wonderful culinary delights. We had delicious crepes that happened to be gluten free, some fresh sausage. Just shopping at this market may make you feel like you're living a vibrant, fulfilling, and healthful lifestyle. We also visited a Boulangerie Le Marquis sans gluten. Excellent. The GF Croissants were amazing. ," said another member in Montreal.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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