When imagining that ideal retirement lifestyle, the image of any life beyond a career, beyond caring for children, might seem just like a long day at the beach. However, retiring individuals and couples might considering holding off on that stereotypical migration southward, toward some tropical beach locale, and consider the benefits of maintaining their active lifestyles while living in a mountain landscape. Particularly in Canada, where the percentage of residents within retirement age has been hovering around 15 percent, as now the "live music generation" outnumbers the "earbuds generation," those retirees who are moving away from cities into resort towns might consider the benefits of a life more elevated. Here are 3 mountain towns in Canada that will ensure you maximize your fun and funds during retirement.
1. Rossland, British Columbia
Situated in the West Kootenay region, at a breathable but bracing elevation of 3,356' (1,023m), the town of Rossland offers more to the retiring cyclist than any other town. With no streetlights, and an extensive network of trails surrounding this gorgeous former mining town of 3500, there is a reason Rossland has been considered "The Mountain Biking Capital of Canada" for the past two decades. For retirees looking for a mountain locale to call home while staying active, the air quality and scenery in the surrounding Monashee Mountains cannot be matched anywhere in the Maple Leaf. Skiing is also available at the nearby Red Mountain Resort. Plus, for those searching for other ways to enjoy retirement than an uphill pedal or a downhill ride, Rossland offers a pottery guild, professional theater productions, spa services, boutique shopping, a fine art gallery, and even an independent bookstore. Plus, real estate prices are well-below the national average for a carefree furnished home.
2. Peachland, British Columbia
On the west side of Okanagan Lake, surrounded by lakeside beaches and mountains ranges, yet only a short drive to the more sizable towns of Summerland or Kelowna, sits this village of 5000 residents with the most pleasant name. Peachland is a more affordable alternative to the increasingly expensive second-home locations along the lake, or in the rest of the Okanagan Valley. Part of the area's appeal lies in its climate: hot, dry summers can occasionally include triple-digit temperatures that are nearly unimaginable elsewhere in Canada. This allows the region to produce many successful wineries, and to be sometimes compared to the Napa region of California. Beyond the elegant wines and expansive lake views, the town of Peachland boasts a new golf development, and any retirees looking to downsize from larger residences in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, or internationally, can take advantage of the current buyers market in Peachland.
3. Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec
Baie-Saint-Paul is known for its artists: retire here if you want an injection of culture in your daily walks through a natural paradise. Cirque du Soleil actually began their renowned acrobatic-art productions here. For years painters have been trying to capture this area along the St. Lawrence river that is dotted with mountains and meadows, and the colorful village of Baie-Saint-Paul contains dozens of art galleries and one major contemporary art museum (Musee D'Art Contemporain De Baie-Saint-Paul) to house their work. Brush up on your French, bring your palette, and get that motorcycle you've always discussed for retirement, and you might find that your retirement home is also surprisingly affordable (albeit scarce) in this town of 7300 of the chicest acrobats on earth.