We're All Getting Older

Over 30% of Canadians are “Baby Boomers” and by 2031 they will all have reached the age of 65 and above.

It is obvious that over the next 20 years the need for more appropriate housing for this population will grow substantially. Owen Sound is recognized as one of the top retirement communities in Ontario and in Canada. At this time there is a significant shortage of housing for the retirement market in all Canadian cities. This need will continue to develop at an accelerated rate in the near future. The general consensus in the senior services business sector is that, if started now, the industry cannot build enough housing in time to handle the “Grey Tsunami” that is on its way.

The Retirement Market Housing Options:

Our provincial government’s policy is to have people stay in their homes longer and have care come to them. The biggest challenge is current living situations and homes are not designed to adapt and accommodate lifestyle changes and/or to be suitable for home care services.

  • Retirement Communities

    A combination of smaller single-family residences or townhouses for independent living. All designed with accessibility and convenience of location in mind.

  • Retirement Lifestyle

    Apartment style buildings for independent living with smaller suites along with common areas for activities and services. (Life Lease or condo).

  • Retirement Homes

    Lodge-style living with a combination of small suites or single rooms with common areas for meals, activities and a range of care services. These homes can provide independent living and assisted living.

  • LTC (Long Term Care)

    Full nursing care and services controlled by the Ministry of Health.

Retirement Market Requirements

One floor level throughout the unit

Fully accessible washrooms to accommodate mobility aids

Larger bedrooms to allow access for mobility aids and lifts

Kitchen designed for easy mobility

Non-slip/trip flooring and transitions

Little or no hallways within the unit

All doors at least 38" wide

Located in city centres for access to ammenities

Housing units grouped together to accommodate over 55 social activity and service

If designed with these things in mind, whether they are apartments, condos, or townhouses, full accessibility within the home will allow people to stay in their home much longer.

Accessibility Concerns?

Many people believe that they are invincible.

Just like teenagers - adults, boomers, and seniors are in denial about their bodies and future. People often say "that won't happen to me" or "I have many years before I will have to use that!" However, people don't think about the "what if" scenario. We need to realize that the future is unknown. Everyone hopes to never need a mobility aid but they may have a knee or hip replaced at some point in their life span.

Accessibility FAQ

Living in a fully accessible environment allows you to age-in-place and have home care come to you. You will not have to move again unless you need long-term care.


It refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with mobility issues. Accessibility issues can be permanent or temporary for any age group.

Some of the most commonly used mobility aids are:

  • walkers
  • canes
  • wheelchairs
  • crutches
  • ramps
  • carts
  • scooters

Interior designs that create a fully accessible living environment are not just about a 3 foot wide door and one level living.  There are many accessible features that allow easier movement within a living space.  The main areas that tend to create problems for someone with limited mobility are the washroom and the kitchen.  There needs to be enough space for a 5 foot turn radius to allow easy mobility.  There are also many design features within each of these spaces that can make life easier, such as a low-threshold shower, raised dishwasher, or open concept living, etc.