Long-term care homes

Seniors can live and receive 24-hour nursing, personal care and help with daily activities in long-term care homes.

Get more information about long-term care homes in Ontario, including eligibility, costs, government subsidies and how to apply.

Find a long-term care home near you.

Retirement homes

Retirement homes are a form of housing where residents pay for accommodation and care services. They do not receive government funding and residents pay the full cost of accommodation and any care services they purchase.

Services can include:

  • meals
  • assistance with bathing, personal hygiene, dressing or mobility
  • dementia care
  • administering of medication
  • incontinence care

Some retirement homes may have a doctor, nurse or pharmacist on site to provide health services.

Residents can receive care within the retirement home from external providers, including publicly-funded health services.

There are no specific criteria to be eligible to live in a retirement home. Seniors who wish to live in a retirement home enter into a tenancy relationship with the home and decide which care services to purchase.

Get information about how to find a retirement home.

Report a home

To file a report of harm or risk of harm to a resident in a retirement home, call the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority.

Retirement Homes Act, 2010

Ontario introduced the Retirement Homes Act in 2010 to protect seniors living in retirement homes.

The act is the first of its kind in Ontario and requires retirement homes to obtain a licence and comply with requirements including:

  • mandatory standards for care services, including assessments and plans of care for new residents
  • mandatory safety plans, including emergency planning, to address fire and other risks
  • mandatory staff training held at least once a year
  • police-conducted vulnerable sector screening of staff and volunteers

It also ensures the rights of residents, including the right to:

  • know the true cost of care and accommodation
  • live in an environment that promotes zero tolerance of abuse or neglect

The act also created the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA) that:

  • licenses and inspects retirement homes
  • investigates consumer complaints
  • enforces the act
  • educates licensees, consumers and the public

The RHRA maintains a public register that can help you find a licensed retirement home that meets your needs and preferences.

Affordable housing

Ontario’s social housing and affordable housing programs are administered through Service Managers and District Social Services Administration Boards who know the needs of their communities best. Contact your Service Manager to find out more about housing programs and assistance in your area.

Find contact information for the local Municipal Service Manager to find out more about housing assistance in your area.

Rental housing

You can choose to rent a place to live. In this situation, you are called a tenant and you usually pay your landlord (who owns the property) an amount each month to live there.

Most landlord and tenant relationships are governed by the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, which sets out the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants. It also regulates most rent increases.

The Landlord and Tenant Board resolves disputes between landlords and tenants and educates people about their rights and responsibilities.

Find more information about the Residential Tenancies Act, the Landlord and Tenant Board and the official rent increase guidelines.

Condominiums

Owning a condominium (also called a condo) differs from owning other types of homes in a number of ways.

Condominium owners have specific rights and responsibilities and are subject to rules that can vary from project to project.

Learn about the rights and responsibilities of condo owners, how condominiums are run and how to work with a condo board.

Other housing types

Seniors can access a variety of other housing in their communities, including:

  • adult lifestyle communities – provide independent living residents for retirees or semi-retirees. Your local real estate agent can help you find one
  • co-operative housing – residents do not own their homes but they have an equal say in how their community is run
  • life lease projects – provide older individuals and couples with a lifetime right to occupy a unit and have access to communal facilities and services with the assurance that their neighbours will be in the same age group
  • Home and Community Care Support Services organizations – help seniors live independently in their own homes for as long as possible. Home and Community Care Support Services care coordinators help coordinate in-home services and provide information about other community services, retirement, long-term care and other housing alternatives
  • supportive housing programs and services are also coordinated through Home and Community Care Support Services. These services provide on-site personal support services for seniors living as tenants in designated residential buildings

Make modifications to your home

Most of us want to continue living in our own home for as long as possible, but housing needs can change over time.

Sometimes even small and cheap modifications can help make your home safer and allow you to remain independent as you get older.

Find out more about changing or customizing your residence to accommodate your needs.

You could get money to help with the cost of making your home and vehicle more accessible if you or your child has a disability that restricts mobility.

Find out more information about the Home and Vehicle modification Program

Updated: August 23, 2021
Published: February 01, 2017