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Canada’s capital is more than just a political center hosting the Parliament buildings. About a million people of all ages call the city home, where they study in some of Canada’s best universities, work in a thriving economy, and relax amid gorgeous natural settings and teeming markets.

Retirees have all the amenities of a big city and the charm of living in a bucolic setting. Let’s look closer at what makes Ottawa such an excellent city to spend the golden years.

1. A Canal Runs Through It

Herman Melville observed in the early chapters of Moby Dick that people tend to walk to the extremist limit of the land to behold the water, which captivates them and almost puts them under a kind of spell. Ottawa’s Rideau Canal isn’t an oceanic view of water as far as the eye can see, but it’s a heartbeat of the city, with joggers and pedestrians cruising alongside it in the warm months and skaters carving it up when it freezes over.

Sit nearby to people-watch or be inspired by its flow and get moving yourself.

2. Retirement Homes Are Excellent

Ottawa has some excellent retirement homes where residents have all the specialized care and amenities they could want. The leading retirement residence in Beacon Heights has cooks prepare nutritious and delicious meals in a warm and ambient atmosphere.

Residents need personalized care that addresses potentially changing health conditions so they can age in place. This means memory care and assisted living in a supportive environment. Everything from nursing, health and wellness, culinary, housekeeping, and maintenance is looked after.

Leading Ottawa retirement homes are located near hospitals, shops, pharmacies, churches, major banks, and everything a retiree could want or need.

3. The Arts Matter

Many people use their retirement to lean into hobbies and passions they didn’t previously have enough time for. Those in Ottawa looking to enjoy the arts have lots to keep them busy.

Ottawa is home to many major galleries and museums. The city’s famous Ottawa Bluesfest is a fixture of summer, which has hosted many international musical legends, like James Brown, Dr. John, and Ray Charles. Today, the festival has expanded to include musicians outside the blues genre, but you’ll always find high-caliber blues players there, too.

Sports fans can catch NHL games. Ottawa has a theatre and literary community aplenty. In other words, Ottawa retirees have lots to stir the soul and stimulate the mind.

4. Nature Trails Are Everywhere

Isn’t it nice when you can just step out of your home and are already in a beautiful natural setting? The city settings in Ottawa are easy on the eyes, but the network of bike trails and walking paths really kicks things up a notch.

Practically speaking, you can use them to safely and enjoyably get around the city, but they also serve as ways to exercise and enjoy a quiet, beautiful part of nature.

Ottawa is a major Canadian city with all the modern amenities you’d expect from a national capital. Between that and all its natural and cultural charms and quirks, it’s the perfect city for Canadian retirees to live in.