Article by Linda White at the Toronto Sun

Bruce and Jan Mochrie were considering a costly renovation to the Ancaster house they had called home for 42 years when their son encouraged them to consider a retirement community.

They had never imagined living in a retirement community but began looking at options and agreed it was the perfect fit for this stage of their lives. “We had both recently retired and with our extra time, we enjoy travelling,” says Jan.

The pair recently returned from a cruise to the Panama Canal with friends they’ve made since moving into a three-bedroom garden home at The Village at St. Elizabeth Mills in Hamilton in 2017. The house was renovated from top to bottom before they took possession and features granite countertops and hardwood floors. “We got the renovation we always wanted,” says Bruce.

“We’ve met so many people with similar lifestyles who’ve become great friends,” he adds, rhyming off a long list of activities that includes cards, sports and gardening. “The other plus is that house prices have gone through the roof compared to what we paid 40 years ago, so we ended up with some money and a house that’s substantially better than the one we had before, except for the size of the property because we were on a third of an acre.”

Relocating to a retirement community is about much more than simply downsizing, says Tony Difruscio, president of Zest Communities, which is building the 55+ community at The Village St. Elizabeth Mills. It will soon begin construction of a five-storey building of one and two-bedroom units and is upgrading and doubling the size of a retirement residence that offers assisted living.

“What really brings people here is the lifestyle community and social interaction,” he says. “They have neighbours who look out for each other so they tend to stay independently living much longer. We have people in their late 90s here living independently here and very active.”

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