Montréal: a choice destination for a fulfilling retirement

Trading the great outdoors for the big city… these happy retirees explain their big move.
Couple lecture

More and more people are choosing to retire in Montréal. Whether it’s to be closer to their kids, live where the action is, make new friends or take up new pursuits, they all have their reasons and their stories are inspiring.

Retirement: a time for resetting priorities, breathing new life into your retirement years and gaining a new sense of purpose.

Yves was a journalist, while Joanne, originally from Western Canada, taught English as a second language at an adult education school in Montréal. They didn’t want to abandon their active social life or deviate from their normal routine. Since they retired, the couple doesn’t have time to be bored.

Joanne takes her dog, Lilou, for walks in the local parks. “I love going out early in the morning, when there aren’t a lot of people around,” she admits. “The city is calm and beautiful.” If she leaves home early, it’s because she’s so busy the rest of the day. Two years ago, she began studying German. And she still practices piano, an instrument she took up the day after she turned 60.

Yves goes (nearly) every day to the YMCA, a few minutes from his home. Now that the nice weather has returned, you’re likely to see him out on his bike. “Since retiring,” explains the former journalist, “I’ve never been so involved in sports.” But it’s the history of his neighbourhood that really inspires him.

Yves spends at least a day or two a week, delving into Montréal archives or the memories of Montrealers. He has an inexhaustible supply of anecdotes about his neighbourhood and its long history. And he even gives conferences at a nearby library from time to time.


a couple in a terrasse

a couple in a terrasse
Source : 
Alexandre Campeau-Vallée

An active life

Ruth and Claude had always vowed that one day they would live in a big city. The couple spent their entire life in Saguenay. Their kids were born and raised there. But once the kids left, the house began to seem large, and life a bit dull for this very active couple. Once they retired, it didn’t take them long to decide: they moved to Montréal.

“My partner and I like to go out,” says Ruth. “The arts, cinema, museums. It’s all so exciting!” They were immediately captivated by Montréal’s vibrant cultural scene.

“Sauntering along Saint Lawrence Boulevard or strolling around downtown, taking the subway to the movies, discovering the parks in summer…there’s always so much to do,” gushes the Saguenay native, who has called Montréal home for over 12 years now.

“We do a lot together, but my partner also likes to wander off on his own.” Everything is so close by in Montréal and there’s something for everyone.

“Naturally, we return to the Saguenay from time to time to see our daughter, who still lives there,” says Ruth. “But we’re always happy to get back to the city and be part of the action.”

A fisherman

A fisherman sitting on the border of water
Source : 
Alexandre Campeau-Vallée

Montréal accessible and affordable

Quebecers leave the job market earlier than other Canadians. The average retirement age is 59.9 in Québec, compared with 61.6 for the rest of Canada. Meanwhile, life expectancy is 78 for men, and 83 for women. So we’re spending more time in retirement. That’s an important consideration.

Generally speaking, it’s cheaper to live in Montréal than you might think. But that’s not the main reason. Retirees often sell a large house and opt for smaller accommodations better suited to their lifestyle. They prefer new buildings that require less upkeep. And money saved on maintenance is devoted to travel or just being out and about. They also take a practical view and want to be close to parks or the water, near health care services and within easy access of public transport.

Montréal has a dazzling selection of condominiums to tempt them, namely new projects and housing styles not found anywhere else. Many boroughs are a perfect fit for retirees, namely Verdun, Angrignon or the downtown area. So it’s hardly surprising that more and more of them are deciding to enjoy a fulfilling retirement in Montréal. 

Learn about our Home Purchase Assistance Program

Published on November 2018