What is the Average Cost of Assisted Living

Posted on February 24, 2021

Did you know that according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, the senior population of Canada is expected to grow by 68% throughout the next 20 years? Additionally, by 2037, the population of seniors is expected to be 10.4 million.

If you’re a Canadian senior who’s looking for a place to retire, then you’re probably curious about the average cost of assisted living. You also might be thinking about average care home fees and private nursing home costs.

Not knowing the costs for different types of retirement care can be slightly unnerving.

You want to be able to plan for your future, but you don’t know if you can afford the care that’s best for you.

This also makes financial planning difficult, which can be stressful when you might have additional costs already, such as medications and possibly additional care, which already consume a significant amount of your income.

That’s why we’ve put together this article. Once you understand the different types of senior care, and how much they cost in different provinces, you'll have a much better understanding of how to plan for your future.  

Costs in Different Provinces and Regions

When it comes to understanding retirement home costs, it helps to know how these vary in different provinces and regions in Canada. This way, you’ll know if you can stay in your province or if you need to move elsewhere to get affordable care.

In this section, we’ll cover the average monthly cost of a retirement home in British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba & Saskatchewan, Atlantic Canada, and Quebec.

British Columbia

When it comes to the average cost of assisted living in British Columbia, it has the second-highest amount of different types of elderly care options. When it comes to senior living cost, it has the largest range, which can vary depending on what type of care you’re paying for.

In BC, it’s an average price of $2,250 per month.

As for services and amenities, British Columbia has some of the best available for seniors in retirement homes.

If you want to be part of a vibrant retirement community where there are many activities, a BC care home might be the best choice for you.

Keep in mind that average care home fees can vary significantly depending on what care needs are available.


If you want a large range of options when it comes to elderly care cost, then you should look no further than Ontario. Out of all the provinces and regions we cover in this article, this province has the widest range of retirement home costs.

These costs include the most expensive and most affordable rates across Canada.

If you’re asking yourself, “How much does senior living cost per month in Ontario?” here’s the answer.

The average cost is $3,038 per month. Keep in mind that this range is large because of the many specialized forms of care and needs available.


Even though you might not expect it, the average monthly cost of a retirement home in Alberta is $2,780. Why is this so high? This is because residents in Alberta-based retirement homes usually receive amenities and extra health care in addition to having a place to live.

Depending on what amenities and extra health care you get, the senior living cost can vary.

Manitoba & Saskatchewan

In these prairie provinces, you can get a variety of amenities and services at many of their retirement communities. In terms of elderly care cost in Manitoba, the average you would pay for a month at a retirement home is $2,378.

In Saskatchewan, the cost of a one-bedroom space for a senior would be $2,505, on average.

Atlantic Canada

When it comes to average care home fees in Atlantic Canada, these tend to be quite affordable. This is because, in general, real estate costs in Atlantic Canada are lower than in other regions of Canada. The average rent for this region is $2,137.

Because there are many options in this region, you can choose exactly the kind of care that is right for you. You’ll also have an easier time finding a retirement home cost that you can afford.


If you’re asking yourself the question, “How much does senior living cost per month in Quebec?” then you’ll like the answer. In Quebec, senior living cost is significantly lower than in other provinces and regions.

For a senior space, the average rent is $1,520.

Additionally, you’ll get a lot for this price. In addition to having all the support you need, you’ll also enjoy a vibrant senior community.

How Much Does Care Usually Cost?

Now that we’ve reviewed the average monthly cost of a retirement home in different provinces and regions, we’ll review how much care usually costs in Canada generally.

This is because there are many different factors that affect the price of your retirement home cost.

The area you want to live in has an impact on price. For example, if you want to be in a metropolitan area so you can go out into the city every once in a while, then costs are going to be higher.

Additionally, if you need specialized care when at your care home, this will make elderly care cost higher.

Depending on the number of amenities, quality of those amenities, care required, and accommodation location and size, monthly fee ranges in Canada can vary significantly. The range is huge, between $1,475 and $6,000 a month.

To be able to budget for your senior living cost, you need to research how many of these features you want to be offered by your retirement home.

Then, you need to see how much they cost in different care homes.

If the cost is too high, then you’ll have to forego some of these features. If they’re absolutely essential (for example, health care services you need), then you may have to broaden your search to other provinces or regions.

Flexibility and Life Leases

Keep in mind that there is flexibility for different budgets. For example, you would pay much less for a one-bedroom independent living retirement condo than you would for a two-bedroom suite. In the Greater Toronto Area, these costs would be $240,000 and $300,000, respectively.

You can also use a life lease. With a life lease, you can have a financial stake that allows you to live in the retirement community without having to own a home in the traditional sense.

This way, you have access to amenities, for example, recreational facilities and dining rooms.

You’ll also be able to occupy the unit that’s yours, even though you don’t own it.

Because many of these types of communities have non-profit organization sponsorship, costs are often lower than they would be for purchasing an ordinary condominium at market value.

When researching this type of living situation, ask about how costs compare in the development as compared to in the region itself.

The Average Cost of Assisted Living in Different Cities

When you’re thinking about retirement home cost, it helps to know what the average monthly cost of a retirement home is in each city. That way, you can know if the retirement home cost you’re researching is fair or a bit pricey for that metropolitan area.

These average prices vary between $2,865 and $4,050. Let's take a closer look.

  • Calgary, AB: $2,953
  • Toronto, ON: $4,050
  • Ottawa, ON: 2,865
  • Vancouver, BC: $3,565
  • London: $3,367
  • Mississauga, ON: $3,150
  • Kelowna Area: $3,153
  • North Vancouver: $3,868

Looking at all these costs, the average monthly cost of a retirement home in a major city is $3,347. If you hope to retire in a retirement home in a major city, then you need to be sure that you can afford something close to this amount every month.

Care Type Costs

The most important factor that will impact average care home fees is the care type you need. In fact, this senior living cost can add a significant amount of money to what you have to pay since you often have to pay for this care in addition to your retirement home cost.

Assisted Living

One of the care types you need to think about is assisted living. Assisted living includes services such as meal preparation, housekeeping, bathing, dressing, transfer, incontinence, feeding, and medication administration.

These costs are usually between $3,000 and $5,000.

They will vary significantly depending on whether you’re in a city or not and which province you want to retire in.

Alzheimer’s and Memory Care

If you’re currently experiencing mild dementia, then you will likely have to pay for Alzheimer’s and memory care. When it comes to private nursing home costs, this is one of the priciest. Even though long-term care is paid for by the government, there are often waitlists for long-term care retirement homes.

As a result, you may have to pay in the meantime for a short-term stay at a senior living community.

As a result, you’ll have to pay for Alzheimer’s and memory care at this senior living community. This can be quite costly, averaging between $4,000 and $6,000.

However, once you’ve settled into long-term care, you won’t have to pay for these additional services. You will only have to pay for the cost of staying in the retirement home itself.

Financial Tips for Saving Money on Retirement Home Costs

Here are some tips that can help you save money on your retirement home. For one thing, you should be aware that there are usually discounts if it’s two people moving into the retirement home instead of one.

This means you and your spouse or common-law partner can save money if you retire together.

Additionally, if you have other family members who are retiring, this can be a great way to save money. It also means you can have more fun in your retirement community because you’ll be there with someone you’re close to.

Here’s another tip. Before you start looking at retirement home options, make a list of what your needs are.

Additionally, make a list of where you’d like to live, whether you want to be in a city or live in a community with certain amenities.

If you need additional health services or personal support, you should ask retirement home representatives about how much they charge for these costs. Usually, they’re added to the cost of living in the retirement home itself.

Finally, consider independent living communities or active adult communities. These will cost less than more service-based communities.

However, keep in mind that these are only a good fit if you don't have important health support needs.

Need More Information?

Now that you know about the average cost of assisted living, you might need additional information. Maybe you want to learn more about the best retirement homes in your area.

Or maybe you need help budgeting so that you can afford senior care when you’re ready to get it.

Whatever information you need, we’re here to help. At Insurdinary, we’re experts at finding the best ways to offset the costs of medications, senior care, life insurance and so much more.

To learn more about how we can help you, contact us here.

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