Looking to retire soon? There are plenty of cities in Southwestern Ontario that are great choices for retirees. London has plenty to keep you busy as well as amenities specifically designed for seniors. Enjoy a rich and fulfilling life in this beautiful and thriving city.
From excellent health care services and plenty of beautiful parks to amazing amenities for seniors and affordable real estate, London is an amazing choice for those who are looking to find the best city to retire in.
Excellent Medical Facilities
London is privileged to be home to world-renowned hospitals, some of the most highly regarded doctors, and incredible health care service. From St. Joseph’s, and Victoria, to the University Hospital and Parkwood Institute, some of the most brilliant minds in the medical community are here in London, innovating and pushing for the best possible patient care.
The hospitals in London are equipped for surgical, chronic care, mental health, continuing care, and even rehabilitation services. With round-the-clock care, emergency services, and a number of specialties, you can rest easy knowing that your health will be well taken care of in London.
Healthy, Active and Social Living
Staying active and social is the key to healthy living, especially later on in life. London Ontario has no shortage of opportunities for retired adults to keep up a healthy active and social lifestyle.
Hamilton Road Seniors’ Centre & Community Centre
For those aged 55 and older, the Hamilton Seniors’ Community Centre is a great place to make connections, feel a sense of belonging, and stay active. The centre has a variety of programs and activities. The building is completely wheelchair accessible. On top of calendared and weekly fun, there are also a number of drop-in programs as well. For drop-in programs, there is dancing, darts, euchre, singing, and more. For fitness programs there is Yoga, Line Dancing, Tai Chi for Arthritis, Keep Fit for Bones, Drum Fit, and Strengthening Your Core. Hobbies, seniors can enjoy Arts & Crafts, Gardening Club, and Colouring.
Kiwanis Seniors’ Community Centre
As with the Hamilton Road Seniors’ Community Centre, the Kiwanis Seniors’ Community Centre is helping older adults living active and social lifestyles and is completely accessible. People can choose a membership to one or both of the centres. Members also receive reduced rates on Spectrum programs, bus trips and special events.
The Kiwanis Seniors’ Community Centre has fitness and exercise classes and ones that cater to arthritis and osteoporosis. They also have yoga and ballroom dancing. Seniors can also enjoy social games here such as cards, shuffleboard, darts, and billiards. There are also programs for hobbies such as ceramics, crafts, and choir. There are also programs to experience therapies and learn about nutrition.
Library Programs – The London Public Library, of which there are multiple throughout the city, offer incredible programs that can help people live healthy social and active lifestyles. There are public transportation options to get you to the libraries across the city.
Exercise the SMART Way – SMART stands for Seniors Maintaining Active Roles Together. This functional fitness class helps people to be able to continue to perform daily living activities for their independence through strengthening and maintaining mobility.
Living Well On Retirement Income – This program helps seniors learn how to reduce expenses and live on what money you have set aside for retirement.
CMHA – Mind Over Mood For Seniors – This program can help teach practical tools to keep moods and thoughts in check and under control. With all of the changes that life brings, it can be important to learn these skills. And since body and mind health are linked, this program can be very beneficial.
Walking Groups – Here people can get together with other Londoners and walk neighbourhoods and trails together in companionship.
Fraud Protection For Seniors – Seniors are often targeted by scammers. Through this program, you can learn about the signs of fraud and how to protect yourself against it.
Senior’s Coffee Chat – This program is a great place to meet other seniors who live in your neighbourhood while enjoying a delicious coffee and a friendly chat.
Cards and Conversation – Through this program, you can enjoy playing games of euchre and other card games while meeting new people.
London Knitting Circle – London Knitting Circle can get together with other knitters and work on a project, help others, improve, and enjoy conversation while sharing patterns.
Lambeth Wednesday Afternoon Book Club – If you enjoy reading, join the book club! You can find the books available at the library, read them and then get together to discuss once a month.
Spectrum offers a large assortment of low-cost programs for Londoners. There are programs and activities meant for seniors and is a great place to meet new people and enjoy all kinds of activities. For fitness activities, there is line dancing, cardio, drumming for health, fit for bones, gentle fit, sit to be fit, strength training, pilates, outdoor walk fit, tai chi, urban poling, yoga, and Zumba. Senior sports include shuffleboard and wheelchair tennis. The wellness activities in Spectrum are nature walks, moving meditation, mindfulness & meditation, and a program called Grey Matters. There is also the flex pass for those who just wish to participate in some but not all classes.
Staff are certified in ‘dementia friendliness’. Programs are welcoming and accessible for all. Participate in or lead programs based on hobbies and talents. Fitness activities including those that can be done in a chair.
Swimming is a fantastic full-body exercise that is gentle on joints. It’s great for mobility, decreasing disability and better bone health. London has recreational swimming, lane swimming, and aquafit for seniors at Canada Games Aquatic Centre, Carling Heights Optimist Community Centre, and the South London Community Pool.
Staying connected and social is so important and, for some retirees, without the camaraderie of co-workers, loneliness is all too real. Leisure Buddies is a program for Seniors in London that pairs an older adult volunteer buddy with an older adult participant to help them get involved with social and recreational activities.
A Large Number Of Beautiful Golf Courses
London Ontario is a city for the avid golfer. With over 20 courses in and around the outskirts of the city, varying in difficulties, golf fans will be able to find a handful of favourites. London offers lush greens and well-manicured courses. There are pro-level and award-winning courses, meaning that even the most experienced of golfers can find a challenge. London’s courses have an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars with over 20 thousand reviews. Retirees can spend beautiful afternoons soaking in the sun and playing endless rounds of golf.
For private courses, London has 5 different courses to become members of: Greenhills Golf Club, Highland Country Club, London Hunt & Country Club, RiverBend Golf Club, and Sunningdale Golf & Country Club.
There are three semi-private courses: Cobble Hills Golf & Ski Club, Llyndinshire Golf & Country Club, and Maple Ridge Golf Club.
In terms of public courses, London has Crumlin Creek, East Park Golf Gardens, Fanshawe Golf Course, Fanshawe Golf Course Parkside 9, FireRock Golf Club, Forest City National Golf Club, Hickory Ridge Golf & Country Club, Oxbow Glen Golf & Country Club, River Road Golf Course, Thames Valley Golf Club, and Westminster Trails Golf Club.
FireRock is rated as one of the highest public golf courses in Southwestern Ontario. It has rolling hills and beautiful greens and is an incredibly challenging par 72 design.
Forest City National Golf Club is a beautiful course, one of London’s best, as it sits alongside the stunning Fanshawe Lake. It’s a championship golf course and goes through pine forests and has gorgeous views of the lake.
Echo Valley Golf Course has been an incredible course since its opening in 1971. They offer a Frequent Player Card where you pay an amount and can play as much golf as you could handle for an entire week. It also features competitive leagues.
Westminster Trails Golf Course is a fantastic course for learning and is a go-to for companies to hold their annual tournaments at. It’s one of the cheaper courses to play at.
London’s location is centrally situated, making day trips quick and easy. With Lake Huron above and Lake Erie Below, both less than an hour away, you can get to the beach to enjoy warmer weather. Heading East, you can get to Toronto and all that incredible city has to offer in a couple of hours. Retirees who enjoy wine will love that Niagara-on-the-Lake, which is wine country of Canada, is just two hours away as well. Heading West you can cross the border for shopping in Port Huron in an hour and a half.
If the thought of afternoons in cafes and gourmet meals sounds like your perfect cup of tea, then London is the city for you. London’s culinary scene has recently exploded, bringing a surge of restaurants that practice farm to table and use produce and meat from local farmers. Tasting menus, expertly crafted wine pairings, and tapas can be found everywhere. Dining out has become a truly indulgent experience as elevated dishes and truly impressive culinary craftsmanship has taken over the city’s restaurants.
Parks and Green Space
London is known as “The Forest City” with good reason. Full of the beauty of nature, residents do not have to leave the city to enjoy the peace and tranquillity that comes with green spaces. Plus, science has shown that living in close proximity to green space is good for both mental and physical health.
London has 21 Environmentally Significant Areas and covers over 730 gorgeous hectares. These ESAs have walking trails, biking trails, and incredible bird watching opportunities. Deer are often spotted, as well as other wildlife. These Environmentally Significant Areas offer an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and the ability to connect with nature.
The Thames River flows throughout the city and is a sanctuary for a wide variety of wildlife and vegetation. There is a multi use pathway that follows the river and connects a large number of parks and trails together. The Thames not only provides picturesque views but also makes for fantastic fishing and provides opportunities for water activities such as kayaking and canoeing.
Every neighbourhood has multiple parks and green spaces so that no matter where you live in the city you are never far from beautiful outdoor activity. Whether you’re taking grandchildren to play at the park or are wanting to get out and stretch your legs in a beautiful environment, London has plenty of spaces to do so.
Efficient Transit System
It’s important to feel completely mobile in a city. From getting around to various recreational activities and visiting friends to attending doctor’s appointments and attending family events, no matter where life takes you in London, there is convenient transportation. The LTC has stops all over the city and even offers express buses from White Oaks Mall to Masonville Place. The bus runs steadily and often and offers reduced rates for seniors.
The LTC also offers Paratransit which has door-to-door public transportation services for those who are unable physically to use the conventional transit system as well as the Community Bus, which runs on various days throughout the week and connects seniors and those with mobility challenges to destinations within the city such as shopping malls, community centres and more.
Rich in Culture
There is no end to the arts, music, and culture scene in London. It’s rich and varied and you’ll find that any taste and preference can find something to suit. Spend your days in museums learning about history and taking in artifacts. Enjoy evenings of music or theatre with live performances that will leave you enraptured. Savour the afternoons by soaking up visual art.
The Grand Theatre is an incredible gem in Ontario. You can catch musicals and plays that are box office hits and classics, as well as ones that are more indie.
Palace Theatre is a landmark in the city. Live performances, films, and community events have been held in the gorgeous Palace Theatre for over 40 years.
Musical Theatre Productions consistently produces two to three incredible and high-quality musical theatre productions year after year in London.
Original Kids Theatre is a performing arts organization that puts on over 20 productions a year. The cast and crew are made up of children ranging from ages 8 to 18. The production value is incredible and it allows children the chance to blossom in the art of performing and staging.
Museum London showcases a mix of art and history. Situated close to the banks of the Thames River, this beautiful museum has over 45,000 artifacts and over 5000 regional pieces of artwork by Canadian artists, including Group of Seven.
Hyland Cinemas is an independent and historic theatre that hosts indie and international films. You can catch truly incredible films that you would never otherwise come across in other theatres, making it a true treasure.
London Music Hall is a premier venue that draws impressive musicians and artists from around the world.
Budweiser Gardens is a sports and entertainment venue. The local hockey team, the London Knights, play there throughout hockey season and many enjoy buying season tickets to cheer on the team. Budweiser Gardens also hosts incredible concerts and events throughout the year, such as Disney on Ice, Stars on Ice, dance shows, musicals, and more.