Cost of Retirement Homes in Ontario: Retirement Homes vs Long-term Care Homes

It is easy to conflate retirement homes and long-term care homes on the surface. But, the truth is these two living arrangements are very different. The costs of these senior care options, for example, are poles apart.

Typically, the cost is an essential factor when your older loved ones choose a retirement or long-term care community. And this cost factor is primarily influenced by the quality of support and care that each living arrangement offers.

For this reason, your parents and grandparents must put a lot of thought and research into deciding on their choice of retirement living. They should choose the best option for their needs, taste, and finances.

Moving to a retirement community, like Seasons Retirement, can be a great financial decision for your older relatives. They offer some of the best retirement homes in Ontario, with an enabling environment for older adults to enjoy full, happy, and fun-filled lives.

This article will analyze the differences between the long-term home care cost and retirement home cost Ontario has to offer.

What is a Long-term Care Home?

Simply put, a long-term care home is one where older adults reside and receive assistance with their daily activities. Some of these activities may border on personal care, such as bathing and eating, or medical care, like taking medications.

Typically, individuals who opt for this living arrangement cannot oversee their care alone, hence the need to seek the assistance of a nurse or a trained caregiver. So, residents of long-term care homes receive 24 hours of specialized support daily with no specified duration of care.

In Ontario, the government sets some requirements for an individual to qualify to stay in a long-term care home, and they include: 

● They must be at least 18 years old.

● They must be registered with the Ontario Health Insurance Program (OHIP) with a valid card.

● They must have specific care needs that can be met in private senior care homes.

● They must have at least one of the following care needs:

                    – 24-hour supervised personal care.

                    – Support with activities of daily living (ADLs).

        – In-person supervision to guarantee safety or well-being.

All applications for long-term care in Ontario are processed by a government agency called Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs). Continue reading to learn why this is the case.

Cost of Long-term Care Homes

The government of Ontario pays for the full nursing and personal care costs of older persons living in long-term care homes, and this is why they oversee the home’s application procedure. However, long-term care residents still need to pay for their accommodation charges, with the amount depending on the housing type.

In Ontario, the types of accommodation available in long-term care include long-stay basic, long-stay semi-private, long-stay private, and short-stay.

Let’s break down the cost of each accommodation type. Long-stay basic (3 – 4 individuals share a room) costs $62.18 per day and $1,891.31 per month. Meanwhile, long-stay semi-private (2 individuals share a room) is at a daily rate of $74.96 while it costs $2,280.04 per month.

Furthermore, long-stay private costs $88.82 per day while its monthly rate is $2,701.61. Finally, short-stay, often used for temporary care purposes, costs $40.24 per day.

It is worth noting that Ontario’s Ministry of Long-Term Care regulates long-term care accommodation costs, and they are fixed in all long-term care homes all over the province. Nevertheless, the full rate for semi-private and private accommodations in some homes can be less than the stipulated cost, depending on the structure and age of the long-term care home.

Meanwhile, for low-income seniors, the Ontario government designed the Long-Term Care Home Rate Reduction Program to help subsidize their cost of living. The government subsidy program offers a maximum of $1,891.31 per month, covering the cost of a long-stay basic accommodation.

As we continue in our nursing home vs long term care discussion, we’ll have a look at nursing homes or retirement homes, what they offer, and how much they cost.

What is a Retirement Home?

Typically, a retirement home is a multi-residence housing system for older adults. As opposed to long-term care homes, retirement homes are designed to allow older persons to enjoy their independence.

That said, there are still shared spaces and provisions of support in this community-like housing system. Retirement communities such as Seasons Retirement even provide basic necessities, like food, medical care, and so on, and luxury amenities like sports centers and gyms.

In Ontario, most retirement communities provide senior living options ranging from Independent Living (IL) and Independent Supportive Living (ISL) to Assisted Living and Memory Care.

Independent Living is specifically for older adults who can oversee their daily care by themselves. Meanwhile, Independent Supportive Living is quite similar to independent living, except that residents are surrounded by friendly support staff. Hence, residents of ISL can receive care when needed.

On the other hand, Assisted Living is for older people who require minor assistance with certain daily activities. However, senior living option residents don’t particularly need specialized care from trained professionals.

Finally, memory care is a senior living program where folks with memory health issues like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia receive specialized care.

The cost of retirement homes in Ontario will be discussed further down.

Cost of a Retirement Home

Unlike long-term care homes, the government of Ontario doesn’t provide funding for retirement homes. This means that private individuals cover the total cost of their care and accommodation in these residences.

The cost of a retirement home in Ontario varies, depending on the accommodation type and care option. Renting a private residence in a retirement community could be around $1,500 or as high as $6,500 per month. 

Memory care residences and independent living suites are often the most expensive homes in a retirement community in Ontario. Meanwhile, small-sized or studio apartments are relatively cheap in the province.

If you paid attention to this ‘assisted living vs long term care’ debate, you would notice that the cost of these living arrangements varies based on the accommodation type and the care services being provided.


As inferred earlier, the cost is an important factor to consider when your loved one decides to move to a retirement home. So, before deciding on a senior living choice, your parents and grandparents should research the various retirement home costs available in Ontario.