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The Best Places in Vancouver for Your Retirement

Best Places for Retiree in Vancouver
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Walking along the streets of Vancouver, I couldn’t help imagining the life of those contemplating retirement in this city. 

A cozy coffee shop on a rainy day, retirees engaged in animated conversations, their laughter mingling with the gentle pitter-patter outside…

Curious about what kind of life awaits those dreaming of retiring in this city? Stick around – we’re about to delve into the usual questions about retiring in Vancouver, and Canada in general, and pinpoint the prime spots in the city for retirees.

Is Vancouver good for retirement?

Is Vancouver good for retirement
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Vancouver is a good place for retirement and is considered one of the best places in North America for retirees.

This is what health supplements company Veolar found in a study of the best cities in the world that retirees should live in. CTV News Vancouver reports that Vancouver ranked first in Canada and 29th globally, with Toronto and Montreal also in the Top 100 in the Americas.

What makes Vancouver a good place for retirees?

Vancouver is a good place for retirees because of the accessibility of health care, outdoor opportunities, air quality, eco-friendly initiatives, and cultural attractions. 

The safety in the neighborhoods, supportive community, convenient transportation, and mild climate are also factors to consider.

Access to Health Care

Access to Health Care
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According to that same study by Veolar, Vancouver along with the other Canadian cities on the list, scored high in access to health care, one of the most critical factors for retirees. 

Canada has a robust healthcare system. The province of BC also supports its residents through the Medical Services Plan (MP) that they can enroll for and use for some surgeries and diagnostic services, maternity care, and others.

The city is also home to world-class medical facilities, including those in Vancouver General Hospital and St. Paul’s Hospital. 

As these hospitals among others focus on preventive care and a range of specialized services, retirees can enjoy peace of mind knowing that their health needs are well-addressed. 

Additionally, the city promotes a healthy lifestyle, with numerous wellness programs and initiatives for seniors. 

Outdoor Opportunities

Outdoor Opportunities
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For retirees who relish an active lifestyle, Vancouver is a paradise. The city’s outdoor offerings are diverse, ranging from serene strolls in Stanley Park to more adventurous pursuits like hiking in the North Shore mountains. 

With an extensive network of trails, parks, and recreational spaces, there’s no shortage of opportunities to bask in nature’s beauty and stay physically active.

Even just taking a stroll in the morning can be taken up a notch along the seawall. Retirees who are looking to breathe fresh air and do birdwatching can have the opportunity to do those along the seawall, other waterfront areas, and green spaces.

Air Quality

Air Quality
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Breathing in fresh, clean air is a luxury many retirees seek, and Vancouver delivers on this front. 

The city consistently ranks high in air quality indexes, thanks to stringent environmental regulations and a commitment to sustainability. 

Surrounded by breathtaking natural landscapes, Vancouver enjoys excellent air circulation, making it an ideal choice for those who value a pollution-free environment for their retirement years.

Eco-friendly Initiatives

Eco-friendly Initiatives
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Linked to this impressive air quality is Vancouver’s commitment to eco-friendly and sustainable practices.

The city has implemented various initiatives, from extensive recycling programs to green building standards.

It’s now over ten years since the wheels of the Greenest City Action Plan (2020) have started rolling, and the city has made great progress towards its goals. Now, Vancouver is one of the most livable cities in the world.

The city’s next goal is to achieve zero waste in 2040 and derive its energy from renewable sources by 2050.

Living in a city intent on reducing carbon footprints, retirees can take pride in being part of a community that actively contributes to the world’s well-being.

Cultural Attractions

Cultural Attractions
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Retirement in Vancouver isn’t just about natural beauty. It’s a cultural haven. The city hosts a vibrant arts scene, with numerous galleries, theaters, and music venues. 

From the iconic Vancouver Art Gallery to the diverse performances at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, retirees can immerse themselves in a rich tapestry of cultural experiences. 

The multicultural fabric of the city further adds to its allure, providing retirees with a broad spectrum of culinary and artistic delights.

Supportive Community

Supportive Community
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One of Vancouver’s most appealing aspects for retirees is the presence of a tight-knit and supportive community. 

For instance, there’s the Vancouver Municipal Regional Retirees Association which meets five times a year at the Bonsor Recreational Centre.

The city values inclusivity and actively fosters an environment where seniors feel connected and engaged. 

The Vancouver Public Library has a useful list of resources for seniors, and various community centers offer social activities, classes, and events tailored to retirees. 

Seniors can also benefit from province-wide societies like Seniors First BC and programs like Better at Home that empower the community to volunteer and help seniors with their non-medical needs.

Safe Neighborhoods

Safe Neighborhoods
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Safety is paramount, especially in retirement, and Vancouver offers a range of secure neighborhoods. 

Although Downtown Eastside has grappled with social challenges and safety issues since the pandemic, the City is actively addressing them, and most areas boast a moderate to high safety index.

In general, Numbeo assigns the city a moderate safety index, with a value of 58.43.

Communities like Kerrisdale, Dunbar, and Shaughnessy are also known for their tranquility and can provide retirees with a sense of security and peace.

Mild Climate

Mild Climate
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Retirees seeking a reprieve from extreme weather will find Vancouver’s climate delightful. 

Winters are mild (4-6 degrees Celsius), with temperatures rarely dropping below freezing, and summers are warm (20-22 degrees Celsius) without being sweltering. 

The temperate climate allows for year-round enjoyment of outdoor activities, making Vancouver an inviting destination for those wanting to escape harsh weather conditions.

Convenient Transportation

Convenient Transportation
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Convenient transportation is also a boon for retirees in Vancouver. The city has an extensive and efficient public transportation system, including buses, SkyTrain, and SeaBus services. 

This accessibility allows retirees to navigate the city easily without the need for a personal vehicle. If they’re looking to delve into diverse neighborhoods, the interconnected transit system is a real plus.

And most areas have pedestrian-friendly pathways and has a robust cycling infrastructure. Aside from offering convenience, these can help promote an active and eco-friendly retirement lifestyle.

What are the downsides of retiring in Vancouver?

What are the downsides of retiring in Vancouver
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While retiring in Vancouver is generally positive, the drawbacks are primarily centered around the high cost of living and frequent rainfall.

According to The Canadian Magazine of Immigration, the average price is CAD 1,203,300 in September 2023, while the asking price for a rental unit, as reported by CBC, is CAD 2,178 in October 2023.

As of November 2023, also places the average cost of living in Vancouver at CAD 2515. This puts the city in the top 7% of the most expensive cities in the world. 

Now, in terms of the weather, the city is often called “Raincouver” for a reason. Though the mild climate helps, some retirees may still find the frequent rain very challenging.

That’s quite understandable since the city’s location and geography set the stage for the long rainy experience of Vancouverites.

How much money do you need to retire comfortably in Vancouver?

How much money do you need to retire comfortably in Vancouver
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Generally, the amount of money you need to retire comfortably in Vancouver may be around CAD 1 to 2 million. This will depend on your lifestyle, individual circumstances, and economic conditions. 

According to a 2023 survey by North American bank BMO, the average Canadian expects to need $1.7 million in savings to retire comfortably. 

This number is up from $1.4 million just two years ago, reflecting the inflation rates and rising cost of living in Canada.

In Vancouver, the cost of living is definitely higher than the national average. This means that you will need to save more money to retire comfortably in Vancouver than you would in other parts of Canada.

The rule of thumb that many financial advisors like Dundas Life give is that you can expect around 70% of your pre-retirement annual income to cover your expenses for each year in retirement. 

North American financial institution Fidelity Investments also suggests saving at least 15% of annual pre-tax income, if you start putting away retirement money at age 25 and aim to use it at 67. 

What are the best places to retire in Vancouver?

The best places in Vancouver, BC to retire include Kitsilano, Mount Pleasant, Commercial Drive, Downtown, Gastown, Yaletown, West End, and Kerrisdale.


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If you’re looking for a retirement place that offers California beach vibes, then the neighborhood of Kitsilano may be good for you. 

Kitsilano, often referred to as Kits, is the epitome of coastal living in Vancouver. With its sandy shores and stunning views of the North Shore Mountains, Kitsilano Beach offers a laid-back atmosphere perfect for retirees.

The neighborhood is well-connected with accessible public transportation, ensuring ease of travel for seniors. 

While housing costs can be relatively high (rent for a 1-bedroom apartment can cost around CAD 2400), Kitsilano’s charm lies in its proximity to the beach, vibrant local shops, and recreational activities, perfect for those desiring a coastal retirement.

Pro tip: Kitsilano Community Centre offers a number of activities for seniors. There are low impact dance classes, arts and crafts workshops, and social events like coffee hour.

Mount Pleasant

Mount Pleasant
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Mount Pleasant is a retiree-friendly neighborhood known for its artistic flair and diverse community. 

The area offers a mix of heritage homes and modern developments, and rent can be between CAD 2,200 and 3,525.

If you’re thinking of retiring in Mount Pleasant, you can explore the vibrant Main Street, filled with eclectic shops and eateries. It’s an ideal location for seniors who appreciate a dynamic and culturally rich environment.

It’s an interesting place to be in, with the toned down hipster neighborhood vibe that it gives off. There are vegan eateries, breweries, and vintage shops, but they’re well-integrated into the fabric of the neighborhood.

Pro tip: Mount Pleasant is known for its pedestrian-friendly streets and well-maintained bike paths, so retirees can get around easily without relying on a car. 

Commercial Drive

Commercial Drive
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Popularly known as “The Drive,” Commercial Drive is a bustling neighborhood that combines a diverse cultural scene with a strong sense of community. 

It definitely feels like stepping into a set for a movie set in Europe, with the dining options, local markets, and community events with a touch of European charm.

Aside from the inviting atmosphere, if you choose to retire here, you can enjoy the accessibility to at least 300 merchants along 22 blocks of this neighborhood.

The neighborhood has a Little Italy, filled with architectural structures and of course authentic flavors of Italian cities. 

While housing costs can vary (monthly rent can go as low as CAD 1700), Commercial Drive’s unique character, cultural festivals, and proximity to parks make it an attractive option for seniors seeking an energetic and inclusive retirement.

Pro tip: The Trout Lake Farmers Market, one of the biggest farmers market in the city, happens to set up shop in John Hendry Park. Aside from enjoying a picnic by the lake, you can also grab fresh produce to cook at home.


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Situated along False Creek, Yaletown is a trendy and upscale neighborhood offering a modern urban lifestyle for retirees. 

With its converted heritage warehouses and sleek high-rises, Yaletown exudes sophistication. 

Housing costs are definitely on the higher side – in June 2023, rent was around CAD 2900. The area compensates with its proximity to downtown amenities, waterfront views, and high-end dining options. 

Retirees can enjoy strolls along the seawall, access to healthcare facilities, and a vibrant social scene, making Yaletown an ideal choice for those desiring a chic retirement experience.

Pro tip: If you’re retiring in Yaletown, you’ll have easy access to David Lam Park, where you can do birdwatching, Coopers’ Park, where you can have breathtaking views of the city skyline, and Helmcken Park, where you can escape urban noise. 

West End

West End
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The West End is located on the downtown peninsula. This area is known for its proximity to Stanley Park and English Bay and for its high-rises with stunning views.

While housing costs can be higher (a 1-bedroom apartment can cost around CAD 650,000), the convenience of living close to shops, restaurants, and healthcare facilities makes it an attractive option. 

The West End’s diverse and inclusive atmosphere appeals to those seeking an active and socially engaging retirement in the heart of the city.

Pro tip: From the West End of Vancouver, you’re only a few minutes away from a number of hospitals and clinics in case you have to seek medical attention.
There’s Providence Healthcare and St. Paul’s Hospital on Burrard Street, and Vancouver General Hospital and Revita Medical Center on Hornby Street.

Downtown Centre

Downtown Centre
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If you appreciate the convenience and excitement of city living, retiring in Downtown Vancouver will appeal to you.

It has a vibrant and cosmopolitan atmosphere, with a diverse population, a mix of commercial and residential spaces, and a lively cultural and dining scene.

While housing costs can vary, the proximity to healthcare facilities, entertainment venues, and recreational opportunities makes it a compelling choice for seniors who appreciate the convenience and excitement of city living.

Pro tip: From the West End of Vancouver, you’re only a few minutes away from a number of hospitals and clinics in case you have to seek medical attention.
There’s Providence Healthcare and St. Paul’s Hospital on Burrard Street, and Vancouver General Hospital and Revita Medical Center on Hornby Street.


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Gastown‘s charm lies in its historic character and unique atmosphere, which make it an intriguing choice for retirement. 

The cobblestone streets, historic architecture, and iconic landmarks give the neighborhood a distinctive feel. 

For retirees who appreciate a blend of history and modern amenities, Gastown offers a range of boutique shops, galleries, and cozy cafes. 

Many residents here are also work-at-home artists. There are also art galleries like Coastal Peoples Gallery and CICA Vancouver that retirees can visit.

Pro tip: Gastown is generally safe during the day, but during the night, it’s sensible to take precautions to ensure safety when you’re walking around the neighborhood. 


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Kerrisdale stands out as an excellent choice for retirees seeking a peaceful yet well-connected neighborhood. 

Imagine strolling along charming streets, boutique stores that include some of the city’s oldest, and inviting parks – that’s the essence of Kerrisdale’s village charm. 

It’s also one of the first neighborhoods to adorn its main shopping streets with outdoor furniture that you now frequently see throughout the city.

Reflecting the overall vibe of Vancouver, housing options in Kerrisdale, from condos to detached homes, cater to diverse preferences.

Pro tip: Compared to Kitsilano or Yaletown, Kerrisdale is not that popular. But you’ll know that it’s proud of its more toned-down style that’s perfect for retirees.

Where is the most affordable place to retire in BC?

The cost of living in BC is significantly higher than all the other provinces in Canada, based on a study by Westland Insurance. The most affordable places for retirees in the province are Public George, Kamloops, Campbell River, Langford, and Penticton.

Prince George

Prince George
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Prince George offers retirees an affordable haven surrounded by nature. With lower housing costs (rent in a 1-bedroom in the city centre is CAD 1255) compared to Vancouver, retirees can save some more and enjoy a carefree lifestyle.

The city is rich in outdoor activities, with parks, trails, and lakes providing ample opportunities for recreation. 

The slower pace of life in Prince George is complemented by a strong sense of community, making it an ideal choice for those seeking affordability without sacrificing a sense of belonging.


Image by Louis Paulin on Unsplash

Known for its sunny climate and stunning landscapes, Kamloops is a budget-friendly option for retirees. The city offers affordable housing options and a cost of living (CAD 1358 for one person without rent) that’s notably lower than larger urban centers. 

Retirees in Kamloops can take advantage of the recreational offerings, including hiking, golfing, and exploring nearby wineries. 

The friendly community atmosphere, combined with the affordability factor, makes Kamloops an attractive destination for those seeking a balance between nature, community, and cost.

Campbell River

Campbell River
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Situated on Vancouver Island, Campbell River provides retirees with a coastal haven at an affordable cost. 

The city’s housing market is more budget-friendly than Vancouver, allowing retirees to enjoy the oceanfront lifestyle without breaking the bank. 

With outdoor activities such as whale watching, fishing, and hiking readily available, Campbell River offers a tranquil retreat for those wanting affordability coupled with natural beauty.


Image by Nicole Tarasuk on Unsplash

As part of the Greater Victoria area, Langford has experienced growth, leading to increased amenities while maintaining a cost of living lower than Vancouver or Nanaimo. places the average cost of living in Langford at CAD 2061. Still high, but still relatively affordable at a CAD 500 reduction from the cost of living in Vancouver.

With parks, lakes, and a welcoming community, Langford provides retirees with a comfortable retirement choice on Vancouver Island.


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Nestled between Okanagan Lake and Skaha Lake, Penticton offers retirees an affordable slice of paradise in the Okanagan Valley. 

The city’s lower housing costs, an average cost of living at CAD 1617, and a climate conducive to outdoor activities make it an attractive option. 

Retirees can explore wineries, enjoy water sports, and participate in community events, creating a fulfilling retirement experience that’s both affordable and rich in recreational opportunities.

Where is the best place to retire as a Canadian?

Where is the best place to retire as a Canadian
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According to the study conducted by Veolar, Vancouver is the best place to retire in Canada, followed by Toronto and Montreal. Beyond that list, other cities good to consider for retirement include Victoria, Calgary, and Ottawa. 

Toronto, ON has a growing older population and one of its appeals is the safety of its neighborhoods while Montreal offers ample green spaces and year-round activities for retirees.

However, the best retirement destination depends on individual preferences and circumstances. Besides the top three, other noteworthy places include Victoria, BC, Calgary, AB, and Ottawa, ON.

Victoria stands out for its excellent healthcare facilities, mild climate, rich cultural scene, and stunning natural beauty. 

Calgary, Alberta’s largest city, is praised for its affordable cost of living, low taxes, and abundant sunshine. 

Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, also offers a great place for retirees. Aside from the vibrant festivals and green spaces, Ottawa has top-notch healthcare services and senior residences.

How can you prepare for retirement in Vancouver?

Assess Your Finances

Assess Your Finances
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Before retiring in Vancouver, assess your financial situation and create a detailed retirement plan. 

Consider factors such as the cost of living, housing, and healthcare, as well as the recreational activities that you want to pursue in your retirement. 

Your preferred lifestyle will play a huge part in what your expenses will be, so plan ahead.

Maximize Your Retirement Savings

Maximize Your Retirement Savings
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Contribute as much as possible to your retirement savings accounts. Consider contributing to Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), and apply to receive federal government benefits.

Know which of these three fits your circumstances: Canada Pension Plan/Quebec Pension Plan (CPP); Old Age Security (OAS); and Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).

Confirm if you can also avail of employer-sponsored retirement plans and consider catch-up contributions if you’re nearing retirement.

If you’re open to investing, study how you can diversify your investment across different asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, and real estate. Seek guidance from a financial advisor if needed.

Review Your Plan Regularly

Review Your Plan Regularly
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The pandemic shifted the rules of the game in almost all aspects of our lives. It was all unexpected, and now we’re dealing with the consequences of this unforeseen worldwide emergency.

So, it’s best to review and adjust your retirement plan periodically to adapt to changing circumstances and market conditions. 

Downsize Thoughtfully

Downsize Thoughtfully
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If appropriate, consider downsizing your home or relocating to a more affordable area to reduce housing costs.

If you decide to downsize, do so thoughtfully. Downsizing can help you pare down your lifestyle to what is essential and reduce maintenance responsibilities.

Explore Neighborhoods

Explore Neighborhoods
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We’ve given you some of the best options to retire in the city, and that means, you can now take a walk and visit the neighborhoods yourself.

Each neighborhood has its unique character. You may only find the one that suits you best when you’ve seen the neighborhood with your own eyes.

The other neighborhoods in Vancouver that didn’t make the cut shouldn’t be readily excluded from your options, too. Remember, it’s the whole Vancouver that ranks high in the list of best cities in the world for retirees.

Explore Local Food

Explore Local Food
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Food options can be one of the interesting factors to consider in choosing a place for retirement. If you’re aiming to lead a healthy lifestyle, you should consider the availability of land to plant your own produce, or proximity to farmers’ markets (riley park farmers market). 

Vancouver is also known for its diverse culinary scene. Explore local markets, restaurants, and food festivals to sample the range of cuisines that the city has to offer.

Research on Healthcare

Research on Healthcare
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Healthcare is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a place for retirement. If you’re moving from within BC, then you may already have access to MSP that’s available for the province’s residents.

You have to understand the coverage provided by the public healthcare system, and it wouldn’t hurt to check if you need to get supplementary health insurance for additional benefits.

Prepare for the Weather

Prepare for the Weather
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Here’s another crucial factor when making a decision on where to spend your retirement. 

If you’re bent on staying in Vancouver, investing in suitable outdoor gear will pay off later on. Adapt to the weather conditions to enjoy outdoor activities throughout the year.

Plan to Stay Active and Connected

Plan to Stay Active and Connected
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When planning where to retire in Vancouver, you should also consider the opportunities for you to pursue your recreational and social activities. 

Locate the community center, find the nearest Vancouver Public Library, and be ready to immerse yourself in hobbies and physical activities to maintain your health and well-being.

Explore Part-Time Work Options

Explore Part-Time Work Options
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We’ve mostly talked about retirement in terms of embracing a more relaxed approach to life and possibly enjoying the fruits of our labor for decades. 

However, it doesn’t mean you can’t augment your finances or actively keep your mind and body engaged through work. 

When choosing your place of retirement, you may also want to consider opportunities for part-time work or consulting gigs.

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