Retirement homes

Retirement homes are privately owned. They rent private accommodation to seniors who can live with little or no outside help. Retirement homes do not provide 24-hour nursing care.

You can expect to live much more independently here than you would in a long-term care home or supportive housing.

The law

The Retirement Homes Act protects seniors living in Ontario retirement homes.

The Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA) regulates all retirement homes in Ontario. The RHRA enforce care and safety standards and support the rights of residents through:

  • licensing
  • conducting inspections
  • investigating complaints

Source law

Provincial standards for long-term care homes are set out in:


To live in a retirement home, you must be able to pay for your own care and living costs.

You do not need to provide proof that you are healthy and need little support and care. The retirement home may assess your needs to make sure that it can provide you with the right level support.

Services and facilities

Each retirement home is different, but most offer:

  • your own room or apartment
  • full wheelchair access
  • housekeeping, meals, laundry (for a fee)
  • social and recreational programs
  • shared dining rooms and common areas/lounges
  • gift shop, beauty salon, chapel
  • swimming pool, library, gardens

Many homes offer flexibility, for example:

  • you can choose to opt in or out of meal plans and/or other services
  • you can leave for extended periods of time (e.g. vacation) and keep your residence, as long as you pay for rent and service fees


The government does not fund retirement homes. You need to cover the full cost of your own housing and care.

Cost of private room = $1500 to $6000 per month.

You can often choose to opt in or out of meal plans and/or other services.

How to arrange care

1. Find homes in the area you wish to live

To help you find a list of homes, contact:

Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA)

Home and Community Care Support Services

To contact your local Home and Community Care Support Services organization:

2. Research and compare homes

Narrow down your list of homes by doing more research.

You should call the home or visit its website to find out:

  • does the home offer the type and level of service that you want?
  • when you can move in? Is there a wait list? How long?
  • can you talk to people who live there now? What do others say about this home?
  • what services are included with your accommodation? What will cost you extra? How much?

3. Visit the homes

You should visit more than one home before making your choice. This way you can check out the facilities and see how staff interact with other residents.

To set up an appointment, call the home directly.

Download: checklist to help you ask the right questions (PDF)

4. Apply

To apply, send in your application directly to the retirement home. Ask the home(s) for an application form.

There may be wait list, so it’s a good idea to apply to more than one home.

How to make a complaint

Call the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA)

To report harm, neglect or other complaints at a retirement home in Ontario, call the RHRA hotline:

Toll free: 1-855-ASK-RHRA (1-855-275-7472)

Hours of operation: Monday to Sunday, 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Fill-out a report form

To make a written complaint:

  1. download and complete the Incident Report Form (PDF)
  2. send this form by:
    • fax to 1-855-631-0170
    • email to
    • mail to
      Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority
      5th Floor
      Attention: Complaints Intake
      160 Eglinton Ave E
      Toronto ON  M4P 3B5

For concerns related to changes in charges for rent, termination of rental agreements, or changes to services offered contact the Landlord and Tenant Board at 1-888-332-3234.