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The complete guide to finding a retirement community in the Kanata region
The former municipality of Kanata was amalgamated into Canada’s capital city in 2001. Kanata is the fastest growing suburb in western Ottawa – a city that was ranked #2 on MoneySense Magazine’s list of best places to retire in 2014. Kanata is home to more than a dozen retirement homes, which cater to seniors with many different lifestyles. Seniors retiring in Kanata can enjoy the quiet suburban landscape while living 20 minutes away from downtown Ottawa, one of Canada’s foremost cultural centres.
List of retirement homes in Kanata
Some of the best retirement homes in Kanata are listed below. Click through to view a community’s full profile, or further refine the list of homes by accessing the map or advanced search views.
- Types of care for seniors in Kanata
- Costs of Kanata retirement homes
- Medical services and safety
- Recreation and social activities
- Transportation for seniors
- Availability of seniors' suites in Kanata
- Choosing a retirement home
- Retirement home regulations
Types of retirement care
Most of the retirement homes in Kanata embrace the concept of aging in place and offer a continuum of care that spans across most of the spectrum of care (see image below). With more than a dozen retirement communities located in the suburb, independent seniors as well as those with mobility challenges and memory decline will be able to find the right type of lifestyle and care.
Independent and assisted living
Independent and assisted living residences are the most common types of retirement living in Kanata, and most communities offer a combination of both. The advantage of choosing a retirement home that offers both independent and assisted living services is that it can grow with the needs of its residents. Seniors can remain as independent as they like (and enjoy front gardens and kitchens in some suites) or take advantage of meal plans, housekeeping, and even personal care and medication management as they age. Aging in place eliminates the stress of moving into another retirement home and allows seniors to stay in a familiar community and social network.
Long term and memory care
Long-term care homes provide more comprehensive care to seniors with greater health demands and cognitive decline such as Alzheimer’s or advanced stages of Dementia. The advantage of long-term care is more personal attention and access to specialized care, including palliative care and memory therapies, which are not readily available in assisted living.
How much does a retirement home in Kanata cost?
Although the average rent in the Ottawa region experienced one of the highest rent increases in Ontario in 2013, the average rent in the city declined by 1.4 percent in 2014. According to the seniors housing survey, the vacancy rate in Ottawa West is relatively the same for units with rent ranges of $2,501 to $3,000 per month, $3,001 - $3,500 and $3,501+. Fewer than 4 percent of available units cost below $2,500 a month. The cost of a retirement home in Kanata will vary greatly with the type of care and lifestyle you or your loved one(s) choose(s). Rates will change with the type of accommodation you decide upon (available suites include studios, 1 bedroom, and 2 bedrooms).
Every retirement home offers different health care and lifestyle packages and additional services. Well-managed retirement communities can help you choose which services will fit your wants, needs and budget throughout your retirement. Some residences include such amenities as concierge services, cable, housekeeping, personal care and meal plans in one monthly fee, while others may consider these to be additional costs. Paying for retirement may seem expensive, but there are many different ways to afford retirement care. Generally, seniors use a combination of their pensions, RRSP’s, CPP and other income to pay the monthly fees. The sale of the family home is also a good way to cover retirement costs. See our resource on paying for retirement residences for more information on this topic. Seniors with high prescription drug costs can also investigate the Trillium Drug Program, available to seniors over the age of 65 who live in Ontario and have a valid health card. The city of Ottawa also offers a number of resources for seniors, including discounts and financial help with fees for recreation and cultural programs. More information can be found on the City of Ottawa website.
Medical and safety services
Ottawa is one of the safest major Canadian cities, with a lower crime rate than such capitals as Vancouver, Regina and Montreal. The city also has no less than four general hospitals, as well as a number of independent health care providers, which contributed to its high ranking on MoneySense Magazine’s list of Best Cities to Retire. Ottawa Public Health is also committed to senior health and independence. The organization offers support services and programs such as Healthy Again and Preventing Falls, as well as the Essential Health and Social Supports Program, which is designed to help those in need of financial help afford prescription expenses and services such as dental care.
Kanata’s seniors are surrounded by chiropractic and physiotherapy clinics, pharmacies, massage therapy, spas and other wellness centres. However, one of the greatest advantages of living in a retirement community is having access to a variety of health care and wellness services within your residence. Ottawa has a good ratio of doctors to patients, with 2.64 doctors for every 1,000 people – higher than the national average of 1.3. Not only are there many doctors’ offices throughout the city, but many doctors, as well as registered nurses, specialists and wellness professionals are employed by retirement homes. In fact, most retirement communities encourage their residents to make the visiting or live-in doctor their family doctor. Some of the many other health services provided by health professionals in retirement living include:
- 24/7 nursing care
- Medication assistance services
- Exercise programs with access to a personal trainer
- Nutritional meals and special attention to dietary needs
- Preventative wellness programs
- Recuperative programs
- Assistance with daily living activities including bathing, dressing, nutrition and mobility
- Monitoring of blood pressure and blood sugar
- Foot care
- Therapy options e.g. music and aroma therapy
- Palliative care services
- Emotional, cognitive and social support
- Assistance with walking
- Pain and symptom management
- Advanced Alzheimer’s and Dementia therapy and care
- Continence care needs
Safety is a priority for all well run retirement homes. Retirement communities have fire protection plans and install sensitive alarm systems as well as emergency call systems that will alert staff to a crisis at any time of the day or night. Suites and their bathrooms are also designed with senior safety in mind - sit-down showers, grab bars, non-slip floors, night lighting all help to prevent falls and make living more comfortable.
In case of an emergency or a need for specialized care, seniors can receive treatment at one of Ottawa’s four hospitals - Montfort Hospital, The Ottawa Hospital, Queensway Carleton Hospital and The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. The Ottawa Hospital has a rehabilitation centre, a Cancer Program, an Eye Institute and a Heart Institute, and is home to the Foustanellas Endocrine and Diabetes Centre which treats a variety of endocrine and metabolic conditions like thyroid disease and osteoporosis. Montfort Hospital has specialized programs for cardiovascular and pulmonary health, diabetes, falls and thrombosis, as well as a sleep laboratory, and spiritual and religious services. Queensway-Carleton Hospital offers senior-centric services, including the Champlain LHIN Total Joint Assessment Program, cancer information, congestive heart failure clinic, a fall prevention program and a geriatric day hospital, which helps seniors with additional concerns surrounding the maintenance of their independence. Seniors living with disabilities both at home and in retirement care may also benefit from the services provided by the Ottawa Community Support Coalition (OCSC). Foot care, friendly visiting, adult day programs, at home help and meals on wheels are just some of the services offered by the OCSC. Alzheimer’s information and day programs are also provided by the organization and by the Alzheimer’s Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County. Retirement homes in Ottawa and area offer a wide variety of living experiences that range the entire span of the capital region.
Recreation and social activities for seniors
Kanata is located to the west of central Ottawa, affording the area both the advantage of remaining a quiet suburban neighbourhood and being in close proximity to the unique and historical attractions of Canada’s capital city. Kanata is located 22km from downtown Ottawa and Parliament Hill and just west of the Greenbelt and the Ottawa River. Kanata has all the modern amenities of a big city – a shopping centre, entertainment and recreation complexes and art galleries - as well as a number of golf courses, a community farmers market and nearby farms and orchards to the east. Shopping options, libraries, spas, movie theatres and community centres in Kanata are within walking and cycling distance of most of the community’s retirement homes.
Retirement residences also generally have their own accessible buses, on which residents can go on weekly or bi-weekly shopping trips and bank runs, participate in excursions around the community or even go sightseeing and visit the attractions in central Ottawa. Popular destinations within Kanata include the Kanata Civic Art Gallery, Centrum Shopping Centre and Scotiabank Place, home of the Ottawa Senators. Downtown Ottawa is home to many historic sites and a number of popular attractions and festivals enjoyed by visitors and residents alike. Parliament Hill is perhaps the most well known site in Ottawa. Seniors can learn more about the Parliament buildings, as well as the Supreme Court and the downtown core, through guided tours. The historic Farmers Market and the city’s world-class museums are also open to visitors all year long. Admission to the Bytown Museum, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Museum of Nature and the Canadian War Museum is free on Thursdays after 5pm.
True to the Canadian spirit, the city of Ottawa embraces the great outdoors. One of Canada’s most bike-friendly cities, there are many bike trails and even bike lanes throughout the city. The city also boasts more than 1,000 parks, many along the beautiful waterfront. In February, the inner city celebrates Winterlude, an annual winter-festival, with ice sculptures, sweet treats and, of course, skating on the frozen Rideau Canal. Ottawa also has an abundance of arts and culture year-round, from performing arts in the National Arts Centre to the sculptures found in the city’s streets.
Tech-savvy seniors can put their technology skills to work and explore the city’s art by using their Smartphones. The National Capital Commission’s Decoding Art Program allows participants to discover the art Ottawa is so rich in, and find out more about the history and the artists behind the art by scanning QR codes with their cell phones. The beauty of retirement living is that seniors are not limited to any one activity. Retirement homes offer day-trips and evenings out such as those mentioned above, but also provide an abundance of recreational and social activities within their residences, including:
- Fitness and gentle exercise classes
- Yoga and zumba
- Tai chi
- Aquafit and swimming
- Line dancing
- Residence parties
- Painting and art classes
- Theatre performances
- Golf and minigolf
- Movie nights
- Card games and tournaments
- Volunteer opportunities
Many retirement homes also have swimming pools, spa areas, putting greens, gyms and walking trails on their grounds to facilitate the many activities they offer. In order to provide residents with as many recreational and wellness opportunities as possible, many retirement communities also partner with local seniors centres and community centres. The Kanata Seniors’ Centre charges a $24 annual fee for a membership, which affords seniors access to a wide range of clubs, socials and programs, including a choral group, competitive and non-competitive card games, seasonal celebrations, scrabble, craft afternoons, dancing, and much more. Find a full list of registered and walk-in activities on the Ottawa website. The Seniors’ Centre is equipped with a lounge and boardroom, a coffee shop, games room and computer room and located behind the John Mlackak Centre, which also includes the Kanata Civic Art Gallery as well as an ice surface. The Beaverbrook Library is also located at the same site. Ottawa’s library system is another great resource for seniors – offering computer classes, budgeting and tax information clinics, book clubs and family story time.
Getting around Kanata
Seniors in the Ottawa region can turn to a number of different options for transportation. Seniors who drive can find their own way around town and can take advantage of free, and often reserved, parking at their retirement homes. Retirement communities also have their own private accessible buses for day trips and excursions. Some communities also offer transportation to and from medical appointments, but most independent and assisted living residences leave it to their residents to arrange their own rides. Of course, family and friends can also lend a hand, but Seniors who don’t have access to a car generally rely on public or active transportation to get around. Active seniors can travel shorter distances on foot or by bike. Ottawa is one of the most bike-friendly cities in Canada, having been the first city in Ontario to receive a gold-level “Bicycle-Friendly Community Award” presented by the Share the Road Cycling Coalition in 2013.
For longer distances and during the colder months, Kanata residents can use the OC Transpo – Ottawa’s public transportation system. The OC Transpo uses a PRESTO card system for fares, making it easier to transfer between routes. Seniors passes are offered at a reduced price, and seniors also ride free on Wednesdays. Although Ottawa’s regular route service buses have been made accessible through the instalment of low-floors and priority seating, the city also has an accessible-door-to-accessible-door shuttle service called Para Transpo. Residents who are temporarily or permanently unable to take conventional transit are eligible for Para Transpo and can ride the O-Train free of charge once registered. Some home care companies offer transportation for seniors at retirement homes. Seniors can elect single events or set up a regular schedule. Rates and service hours vary. For one-time trips, taxi services are an option, although regular trips can be expensive. Ottawa also offers transportation in the form of water-taxis. According to the Ottawa Tourism website, eco-friendly boats shuttle residents and visitors along the waterfront from May to October, with boarding points at Casino du Lac Leamy, the Canadian Museum of History, and the locks behind Parliament Hill.
Availability of retirement homes in Kanata
The vacancy rate for residences in west Ottawa – which includes the former municipalities of West Goulbourn, Rideau , Kanata and Neapean – hovers around 15 percent – slightly higher than the provincial average. Ottawa was also one of two exceptions for newer units in Ontario. While the vacancy rate for units that opened after the year 2000 declined over most of the province, the vacancy rate for new units in Ottawa increased to 17.9 percent. Although west Ottawa has a higher vacancy rate than the rest of the region, you or your loved one may have to spend time on a wait-list before moving in to the retirement home of your choice.
Certain factors will inform the length of wait times:
- Crisis placement (if someone’s safety poses immediate risk)
- Type of accommodation: basic, semi-private or private or secure floor (Private or semi-private are more expensive but have shorter wait-times)
- Medical care needs i.e. tube-feeding
- Unit designation- secure, non- secure
Choosing a retirement community in Kanata
When making your retirement plans, it is important to consider all your options. Whether you or your parents plan to stay in your own home as long as possible or are planning to move to a retirement residence, it is always a good idea to think about what kind of retirement home is right for you in terms of care, price and amenities. Many seniors and their families wait until a time of crisis until they begin to consider retirement homes. However, searching during a difficult time can limit your options and only increase stress. Before you begin your search, ask yourself and your loved ones the following questions.
- What you want
- What you need
- What you can afford
- Your preferred location
You can visit our page for seniors considering a retirement home for a more comprehensive list of questions to consider in advance. If you are unsure what kind of care you will be able to afford, use our retirement calculator. The next step is to create a short list of retirement residences and begin visiting the communities that meet your needs. Remember to ask questions when touring retirement homes. For a full checklist to ask about, download our free e-book on the ultimate retirement tour guide. For more information on how to choose a retirement home, visit our advice guide. If you are ready to start your search today, contact the residences in Kanata and area shown above, or use our advanced search to narrow down your options.
Kanata Retirement Community Regulations
Retirement homes in Ontario are all regulated under the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA), which is responsible for inspecting retirement homes and enforcing the Retirement Homes Act, 2010. The RHRA maintains standards in Ontario’s Retirement Home industry by regularly inspecting retirement homes for safety and ensuring residents rights are upheld as well as making sure all Ontario retirement homes are licensed.
Always remember to check a retirement residence’s standing with the RHRA before making your decision. The RHRA has a Public Register available on their website which lists retirement homes that have applied for a license or are already licensees. Industry experts also recommend looking for a retirement community that is a member of one or more of the following trusted associations:
- The Ontario Retirement Communities Association (ORCA)
- The Ontario Long-term Care Association (OLTCA)
- AdvantAge Ontario (the Ontario Association of Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors: OANHSS)
- The Canadian Association of Retired People (CARP)