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Looking for a vacation or retirement home? Here’s why properties in Kingston, ON are your best bet

Retirement home

When it comes to choosing the perfect vacation or retirement home, the biggest priority is quality of life. Vacation and retirement are seasons in our life that should be spent relaxing with loved ones, pursuing hobbies and interests, and basically living life to the fullest. A huge part of these things depend on location.

Surrounded by the pristine waters of Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence River, and Cataraqui River, Kingston, ON is known as one of the best cities to travel to and retire in for several reasons:

Rich history and culture

Sitting on the traditional lands of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabek First Nations, Kingston is known as Canada’s first Capital. It used to be an important military post, so it houses many important historic sites such as Fort Henry and the Springer Market Square. And true to its nickname as Limestone City, beautiful limestone buildings dot the city streets.

Today, Kingston is home to many artists, from renowned painters to famous actors. By owning one of Kingston’s gorgeous properties, you can admire both homegrown and international talents in places such as the Agnes Etherington Arts Center, The Grand Theatre, and the Kingston Symphony.

It promotes an active lifestyle

From scenic hiking trails to extreme water sports, maintaining an active lifestyle is effortless in Kingston. Nearby Lake Ontario is the site of various water adventures, ranging from paddle boarding to wreck diving. Within the city, you’ll find many parks and trails such as the Rideau Trail, the Kingston and Pembroke (K&P) Rail Trail, and the Lemoine Point Conservation Area, all of which provide breathtaking views of the city’s natural landscapes.

Even the most urbanized neighborhoods in Kingston are designed with residents’ and visitors’ health in mind, with wide pavements and numerous bike lanes making it one of the most walkable and cyclable cities in Ontario.

A wealth of homegrown restaurants and bars

Not only is it easy to eat healthy in Kingston, but it’s also easy to buy and support local. There are many farmers’ markets held in and around the city, and most of the produce comes from local farmers and vendors. Visit the longest-running market in the Springer Market Square, sample artisanal food at the Memorial Centre Market, or learn more about urban farming and agro-ecologically grown food at the Community Harvest Market.

Moreover, Prince Edward County has become a thriving wine region over the years, and you can find many local craft breweries and wineries in the Kingston area. Make sure to check out local favorites such as Riverhead Brewing Company, Skeleton Park Brewery, County Sips, and more.

A location in the middle of everything

Kingston’s central location surrounded by major cities like Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal provide convenient access to a wide range of shopping centers, sports events, and nightlife. To the north of Kingston, you can also find a number of parks, conservation areas, and lakes and rivers, where you can go swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, and more.

Why retire in Kingston, on?

Why Retire in Kingston

When the City Council formed the Age-Friendly Kingston Community Alliance (AFKCA) in 2015, a survey they made among adults aged 45 and above who lived in the community revealed four requests:

  • To be able to stay in their home
  • To be active and involved in the community
  • To be able to access information and assistance when they need it
  • To be respected

Kingston is considered one of the best cities to retire in Ontario, and for good reason. Around 18% of residents are over the age of 65, and the city is committed to creating an environment where the senior population has access to top-of-the-line healthcare and senior services, recreational and social activities, and a diverse selection of 55+ communities and retirement homes.

Specifically, here’s how Kingston, ON ensures that the needs of senior residents are met:

Senior tax assistance

Financial security is necessary not only in keeping and maintaining your own home, but also in having a good quality of life. This is why the City of Kingston offers several tax assistance programs and deductions for qualified seniors.

Older adults and retirees who enjoy the Guaranteed Income Supplement can qualify for the Senior Property Tax Credit Program – which provides a $100 tax credit – or the Tax Deferral Program, which offers a tax deferral of up to $1,000 to homeowners aged 65 and above.

Personal and medical care

There is a wide range of home support and health care services available to older adult residents in Kingston, ON. The city is home to a diverse array of hospitals and medical facilities, such as teaching hospitals like Kingston General Hospital and Hôtel Dieu Hospital, a regional cancer center like The Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario, and tertiary care centers like Providence Care Hospital.

Some clinics and specialists even offer free services. The Arthritis Society offers free telephone and online appointments with physiotherapists and occupational therapists, while Euclid Telehealth provides free eye disease assessments for early detection of illnesses that cause vision loss and blindness such as Glaucoma. The city’s Senior Centre also offers a series of health and wellness programs where you can enroll for a small fee, including Aquafit with Arthritis, Balance for Fall Prevention, Improve Your Memory, and Meditation.

Recreational and social activities

There’s no end to the list of things you can do in your retirement at Kingston. Dreaming of pursuing artistic hobbies and exploring different cultures? The city is home to 20+ galleries and museums, numerous concert venues and performance halls, and three tertiary educational institutions. You can even join the Senior Centre’s community of like-minded artists, craftsmen, readers, and writers.

What about pursuing an active and sporty lifestyle well into your golden years? There is a wide range of age-friendly recreational activities and programs that you can sign up for, such as cardio and strength training at the Artillery Park Aquatic Centre, adult and senior skating at the INVISTA Fitness & Wellness Centre, and a variety of general and special exercise programs at The Senior Centre.

Community support

As we get older, it becomes more difficult to access certain information, areas, and facilities. This can make older adults feel more isolated and disconnected from the community. This is why the City of Kingston ensures that, from public transportation to services, accessibility is granted to residents of all ages. The Kingston Access Bus (KAB) and the Municipal Accessibility Advisory Committee is a phone call or email away for any questions, concerns, or assistance.

Moreover, the Kingston Senior Centre has numerous satellite locations to make their programs and services easily accessible to residents. Still having trouble getting to those areas? The Senior Centre has a great selection of online classes that you can join from the comfort of your own home, ranging from Pilates to Technology for Seniors classes. You can even have one-on-one computer consultations with the Centre’s iTech team. Call this number for more information.

Finding the perfect retirement home

Are you ready to start your search for properties for sale in Kingston? Buying a home for retirement entails many factors that you probably didn’t have to deal with in purchasing your first home. This includes the type of community, on-site services and amenities, assistance options, accessibility for family visits, and more.

Home to a wide range of retirement services and living options, Kingston can meet the unique needs and preferences of older adults of all lifestyles. From active adult living to respite care, retirement and age 55+ communities in Kingston can be grouped into two categories:

  • Independent and assisted living

    The highlight of these communities is the spectrum of care and services that they offer, which older adults and retirees can choose from and customize to fit their chosen lifestyle. Some can choose to remain as independent as possible, simply utilizing the retirement community’s security, recreational amenities, and housekeeping services to make their life in retirement much more enjoyable and comfortable. Others can take advantage of specialized assistance, such as meal plans and personal care.

  • Long-term care homes

    These retirement communities offer more comprehensive and intensive care to older adults who are unable to live independently due to illness or certain cognitive issues such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. In addition to the services and amenities you commonly find in independent and assisted living homes, long-term care facilities provide its residents with special therapies, memory care, and round-the-clock nursing from personal support staff and health care professionals.

Why invest in a vacation home in Kingston, ON?

Invest in a vacation home

From its historic character to its various sports events, there are many reasons why Kingston is the perfect vacation destination. And buying a vacation home in this gorgeous city is one of those few investments that can give you both personal and financial benefits. Not only will you have your own tranquil lakefront retreat, but you can also use it as an opportunity to break into the real estate market and become a property investor.

Here are two reasons why you should consider purchasing vacation properties in Kingston:

Vacations (and even retirement) in kingston will be easier and more affordable

A large portion of every vacation budget is spent on hotels or vacation rentals, and you can spend anywhere from $100 to $300 each night. So, while purchasing a second home may seem like a bigger expense, it could be the more affordable option if you take long and frequent trips to Kingston.

More importantly, it can be a good retirement option. Buying a vacation home now can also double as investing in a future retirement home. Your mortgage will be smaller or even paid off completely by the time you reach your golden years, taking away the hassle and stress of going through the home buying process again later in life.

Ideal Vacation Itineraries in Kingston

For history buffs

Take a step back in time and explore Kingston in the 19th century. Start your journey at Fort Henry, a fortification from the War of 1812 era that served various roles over the years: naval protection, a British post, an internment camp, and now a museum and historic site.
Experience living history at the Kingston Public Market, the oldest market in Ontario, and the Bellevue House, the once lakefront retreat of Canada’s first Prime Minister. You can even attend movie nights at the Kingston Penitentiary, Canada’s oldest maximum security prison.

For the outdoor enthusiasts

Surrounded by lakes and rivers, it’s no surprise that Kingston, ON is the ultimate destination for water sports. You can go kayaking along the Frontenac Arch Biosphere, enjoy a boat ride around the 1000 Islands, or go canoeing at the Kingston Waterfront.
Not a fan of the water? Try your hand at rock climbing! Kingston is home to the highest indoor climbing wall in the country, which is located within the 100-foot chimney of the Boiler Room. In the northeastern part of the city, Kingston Mills Locks is a crag with more than 80 climbing routes, as well as several tracks for bouldering.

For art lovers

Home to the renowned Kingston WritersFest and the annual Kick & Push Festival, Kingston inspires creatives of all types not only with its natural beauty, but also with its vibrant artistic community.
You can visit exhibits by up and coming artists at the Kingston School of Art and the Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning, attend various workshops held by the Kingston Arts Council, join art walks around Downtown Kingston, or watch thought-provoking plays and performances by the Kingston Theatre Alliance.

It will help you build wealth and diversify your sources of income

Since vacation properties in Kingston aren’t used year-round, renting it out can give you a short-term rental revenue stream that you can add to your main source of income. But take note that property management takes a lot of hands-on work and focus, so ask your real estate agent if they can recommend a trusted property manager who can manage your vacation rental.

As with any real estate property, the market value of a vacation home in Kingston increases over time. It can be a great investment that can fetch substantial returns should you decide to put it on the market in the future. It can also be a high-value asset that you can pass on to your children as inheritance. Moreover, if you use it to host short-term rental guests, you can earn income that will help you pay off the mortgage, property taxes, maintenance costs, and other expenses.

A short guide to short-term rentals

In June 2021, the City Council’s Short-Term Rental Licensing Bylaw took effect. This Bylaw aims to provide a safe and sustainable selection of accommodation options that allow residents to rent their properties and earn additional income without compromising the city’s tourism industry, long-term rental housing, or the peace and security of residential neighborhoods.

If you’re planning to use your vacation property as a short-term rental, you are required to have a Short-Term Rental License before operating. You can read more about how to apply for a new license here. Take note that Short-Term Licenses are only valid for 365 days (1 year), and must be renewed for your rental to continue its operations.

Here are some important rules in the Bylaw you should know:

  • Short-term rental operators are only allowed to rent their property to a particular guest for 30 consecutive days or less.
  • Operators can only have one License and can only operate one short-term rental at a time.
  • If there is any change in the information or documentation submitted during the License application process, operators must notify the Licensing Division within 14 days of the change.
  • Except for single-detached dwelling units that are rented under a single booking, short-term rentals are allowed to individually rent a maximum of three rooms or provide accommodations to a maximum of four individuals.
  • A copy of the License must be displayed at all times near the entry of the short-term rental at all times during its operation.
  • The operator’s license number must be included in any marketing or advertising material put out for the short-term rental.
  • Operators must follow all Municipal Accommodation Tax self-remittance processes and timelines.

Let an expert real estate team handle your search for Kingston properties

Searching for the perfect vacation or retirement home in Kingston, ON requires the knowledge and skills of top real estate professionals. This is where The Krishan Nathan Group steps in. With leading Kingston Broker Krishan Nathan at the helm, this BGRS accredited real estate firm has a diverse set of real estate specializations, experiences, and professional networks that can help you find the right vacation or retirement home that meets your budget, preferences, and long term goals.

Ready to start your journey into Kingston’s real estate market? Give The Krishan Nathan Group a call, or send them an email or message here.

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