Our Suburbs Need Work to Be Good Retirement Spots

By Lola Augustine Brown

Photo: iStock/IP Galanternik D.U.

The suburbs may be a great place to raise a family, but they’re “no place to grow old,” according to a recent report from the Institute for Research on Public Policy.

Suburban neighbourhoods tend to be designed for those with cars, who are able to drive to shops and medical appointments, but as they get older and become less mobile, adults who can no longer drive can become isolated, especially since many suburbs lack reliable public transport. As the older population grows larger—seniors make up 16% of Canada’s population—it becomes increasingly obvious that we need to take steps to address the issue.

The report points out, however, that while many municipalities in Ontario declared their intention to make the suburbs more responsive to the needs of seniors, none have actually taken steps to do so.

The report calls for suburbs to be planned or re-designed as pedestrian-friendly neighbourhoods with sidewalks and places to rest, neighbourhoods “that contain a mix of housing types and provide for the need of residents at all stages of their lives.”

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