Home >> Discover_100_Mile_Lifestyle
Travel to Ontario's southernmost point for a new perspective on active retirement living and the urban-rural mix attracting the 50 plus crowd.
Summer is a perfect time to check out easy living on the WindsorEssex Peninsula, a growing destination people are discovering has an abundance of amenities to satisfy a wide range of active retirement choices.
Considering the drive south to Windsor would be about the same as heading north from Toronto to Muskoka for a two-day weekend, and likely half the time that it would take on a long weekend, it is well worth the trip.
Jon and Shirley Hitchcock think it's one of Canada's best kept secrets. Having spent most of their professional lives living in a condo tower along Toronto's waterfront, after hearing about the attractions of Windsor-Essex, the couple decided to retire there - an area that had, they found out, essentially all of the amenities of Toronto but not the sky-high real-estate prices, plus milder weather and a less stressful environment.
Their three-bedroom, three-fireplace, 1,800-sq. ft. townhouse sits adjacent to the Pointe West Golf Club, in an upscale subdivision minutes from the historic town of Amherstburg and a half-hour's drive from Windsor, which in turn is five minutes from Detroit, a metropolitan area of more than four million people.
Had the Hitchcock's purchased a similar home in the GTA, they probably would have paid $600,000 to $700,000 compared to real estate 30%-50% less in Windsor-Essex, one of the country's lowest priced and most affordable markets.
Bordered by Lake Erie on the south, Lake St. Clair on the north and the Detroit River to the west, Windsor-Essex is an ideal community for boating, fishing and diving or just watching ships-of-the-world pass by your doorstep.
With a northern California latitude, the region has one of the best climates in the country, blessed with 2,000-plus hours of sunshine annually and for 223 days of the year the average daily temperature is higher than 50°F. An extended April-October growing season nurtures a flourishing agricultural industry and seasonal roadside stands well-stocked with fruits and vegetables. Fourteen estate wineries, many with international award-winning vintages, form a wine trail along country roads and atop shoreline bluffs for plenty of tastings and wine-themed weekend dinners.
Leisure options for residents run the gamut and are easily and quickly accessed between urban and rural settings. From exploring the green oasis of Point Pelee National Park or kayaking through one of 20 conservation areas, to watching a historic battle recreated on the grounds of Fort Malden or taking in a round of golf on one of 35 challenging courses. Cross the river to downtown Detroit's Comerica Park and catch a Detroit Tigers game or spend a day at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Windsorboasts its own attractions - a five-kilometre riverfront park and a lively dining scene of enclaves of Middle Eastern and Asian eateries and the vibrant Via Italia. For lovers of culture, there's the Windsor Symphony and Art Gallery of Windsor. Hockey aficionados can watch the Ontario Hockey League's Memorial Cup champs, the Windsor Spitfires in the new 6,500-seat Windsor Family Credit Union Centre. Caesars Windsor rivals Detroit's three casinos by showcasing top entertainers like Celine Dion and Jay Leno. Over 30 festivals are held year-round celebrating film, fringe theatre, food and wine, blues and Elvis!
Access to timely and quality health-care are priorities throughout the region. Recent initiatives like the University of Windsor's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, a $24-million state-of-the-art teaching facility, $150-million upgrades to the Windsor Regional Hospital, $240-million in luxury retirement condos, seniors' residences and long-term care facilities, and recruitment of more than 200 doctors since 2003, signal a new era for health-care in Windsor-Essex and a retirement destination worth looking into.
Take the 50 / 50 Tour
If you're age 50 plus now is a great time to visit the WindsorEssex Peninsula. Come for a weekend.
Save 50% on hotel accommodations. Looking for real estate? We'll connect you with a REALTOR® for a personal tour of your choice. Check out RetireHere.ca. Call toll free 1-877-963-2323 or email us for details.
*Photos courtesy of The Convention & Visitors Bureau of Windsor, Essex County & Pelee Island
Copyright © 2009 WEARCI