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Retire in Burlington Guide

Retire in Burlington with confidence, armed with the knowledge from our extensive guide. It covers critical considerations for retirees, from the cost of living and climate to housing, healthcare, and residency choices in Burlington. We also delve into the social and cultural scene, volunteering options, public transportation facilities, and the city's walkability, helping you make an informed decision.
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Burlington, nestled between the shores of Lake Ontario and the Niagara Escarpment, is a popular retirement destination for international retirees. The city offers a high quality of life, with a vibrant arts scene, beautiful parks, and a strong sense of community. However, retiring in a foreign country can come with its own set of challenges, from understanding the healthcare system to navigating the cost of living.

Understanding the Cost of Living

The cost of living in Burlington is relatively high compared to other Canadian cities. However, it’s important to note that the city offers a high quality of life, with excellent healthcare, recreational facilities, and a safe environment. Housing tends to be the most significant expense, with a mix of condos, apartments, and houses available. Public transportation is efficient and affordable, reducing the need for a car.

Experiencing the Climate

Burlington experiences a moderate climate, with warm, humid summers and cold, snowy winters. The city enjoys a significant amount of sunshine throughout the year, making it ideal for outdoor activities. The proximity to Lake Ontario also moderates the temperature, making it milder than other Canadian cities.

Navigating the Healthcare System

Canada’s healthcare system is publicly funded, ensuring all residents have access to medical services. However, international retirees may need to secure private health insurance until they become permanent residents and qualify for the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). Burlington is home to the Joseph Brant Hospital, providing high-quality medical care.

Exploring Residency Options

Canada offers several residency options for retirees, including the Parent and Grandparent Super Visa, which allows parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents to stay in Canada for up to two years. There are also options for retirees to become permanent residents through the family sponsorship program.

Enjoying Parks and Recreational Activities

Burlington is home to over 100 parks, including the Royal Botanical Gardens, the largest botanical garden in Canada. The city also offers a variety of recreational activities, from hiking and biking trails to golf courses and water sports on Lake Ontario.

Dining at Local Restaurants

Burlington boasts a diverse food scene, with restaurants catering to a variety of tastes. Some popular spots include The Martini House for creative cocktails and upscale dining, and Son of a Peach Pizzeria for artisanal pizzas. For a more casual experience, the Pepperwood Bistro offers a relaxed atmosphere and a wide selection of craft beers.

Learning the Language

While English is the primary language spoken in Burlington, the city offers several language schools for those wishing to improve their English skills. The Burlington English Language Centre is a popular choice, offering a range of courses for all levels.

Engaging with the Local Community

Burlington residents are known for their friendliness and welcoming nature. The city hosts several community events throughout the year, providing opportunities for retirees to meet locals and other retirees. The Burlington Seniors’ Centre also offers a variety of programs and activities specifically for seniors.

Volunteering in the Community

There are numerous opportunities for retirees to give back to the community in Burlington. Organizations such as the Burlington Food Bank and the Burlington Humane Society are always in need of volunteers.

Choosing the Right Home

Retirees in Burlington typically live in condos, apartments, or houses, depending on their preference and budget. Many choose to live in the city centre for its convenience and proximity to amenities, while others prefer the quieter suburbs.

Getting Around the City

Burlington is a walkable city with an efficient public transportation system, reducing the need for a car. The city also offers the Burlington Transit Seniors’ Ride Free program, allowing seniors to ride the bus for free during off-peak hours.

Retiring in Burlington, Canada, offers a unique blend of natural beauty, vibrant culture, and a strong sense of community. While there are challenges to overcome, the rewards of retiring in this beautiful city are well worth it.

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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