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Halifax and Fredericton crack top 10 list of places to retire in Canada

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Some Maritimes looking for that perfect place to settle down in retirement don’t have to go far.

Both Halifax and Fredericton are among the top 10 places to retire in Canada, according to a blog post by luxury real estate firm Sotheby’s International Realty Canada. The report does not address affordability for its reason, instead considering factors like “breathtaking naturescapes, top health-care facilities, and diverse and welcoming communities.”

New Brunswick’s capital is cited as a cultural hub with a number of museums and other historic sites for people to check out, on top of year-round festivals. The Saint John River, charming Victorian architecture, and the small town feel are other reasons for its spot on the list.

The news doesn’t come as a surprise to some residents.

“There are just so many facilities available,” says Susan Wright, who retired in Fredericton after a career working for NB Power. “You have crafts and arts and The Playhouse, we have sports, and there is plenty of game areas around.”

“If you like the town or the country, you can go to either,” says Connie Maddox-Campbell, who came back to Fredericton to settle down after living around the country. “Of course I love the river, the walking and bike trails. It’s all great fun.”

“I’m not very surprised,” admits resident Kevin Lunn on hearing the news. “The lower cost of living here and like I said there is lots of things like outdoor activities to do here. You’re also pretty close if you’re going to the states or to central Canada or the East Coast and the ocean we are kind of central like that.”

Fredericton also boasts the Stepping Stone Senior Centre, which is an activity facility for more than 500 people aged 50 and up in the area. Madeleine Gaudette is the Board of Directors president for the volunteer-run centre and says Fredericton being recognized as a place to put down final roots is wonderful.

She says there is a lot for the 65 and older community to enjoy, especially at the centre where many programs are offered.

“Just this afternoon in one room we have a group playing bridge, in another room we have a group learning to play harmonica,” Gaudette points out. “It’s happy, it’s joyous. We have music going on with a choir on Thursday and another group Tuesday. We have guitar lessons, we have ukulele, and now harmonica and that is just under the music programs.”

The centre also has a variety of exercise and yoga classes, all of which were suggested by members.

“I wonder who they asked,” Gaudette wonders on if Fredericton residents were surveys for the report. “I definitely would have given the stars to here.”

Halifax cracks the top 10 for similar reasons as Fredericton. The “breathtaking natural scenery” and friendly community have made it a top destination to retire in the region.

Bill VanGorder is the maritime spokesperson for the Canadian Association of Retired People. He says the overall climate (outside of some recent major storms) in Halifax leads to not as much cold and snow in the winter or scorching days in the summer.

On top of having some of the country’s most popular tourist attractions, VanGorder also points to improving health care in the province for why people decide to make the east coast city their final home.

“People are feeling that governments here at all levels are starting to understand that seniors are a huge part of the population,” says VanGorder. “They are growing in numbers and are starting to get the services they need.”

VanGorder admits he was surprised Charlottetown didn’t crack to the top 10 list, calling the city a gem of the region. He says at the end of the day there isn’t a bad spot to retire in the region. 

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