By 2051, retirees are expected to represent a quarter of Canada’s entire population, and by 2030, roughly 80% of new housing demand will come from people entering retirement, according to a Conference Board of Canada report covered by sister publication Canadian Business.
And that new housing won’t look like your grandmother’s gated community.
For instance, St. Elizabeth Village, a community of about 900 residents in Hamilton, Ont., will see its population increase to more than 3,000 after a renovation helmed by Toronto-based Forrec. The company designs theme parks and has worked on West Edmonton Mall, Universal Studios and Six Flags in Texas.
The company will remake the community into a pastoral mill town, boosting the citizens’ sense of history, strengthening community ties and emphasizing that the area is a real town, not merely a collection of seniors homes.
As demand grows and other themed projects get off the ground, differentiation will be key for developers to attract residents, reports the magazine. For instance, some themed communities cater to immigrant communities.
Says Steve Rhys, executive vice-president of Forrec: “[Seniors] are looking for places that have a buzz of activities, and it’s amazing for them to see that can be made into reality.”