Canada’s Northern Territories Senior Living and Retirement Living Options

Last updated on: Wednesday, 3 May 2023
  • What You'll Learn

The territories of Canada include Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut, and the land area of these three territories covers 39% of the countries’ total land area, but less than one percent of the Canadian population. The capital of Yukon is Whitehorse, which is where most of the senior population resides. Yukon is the smallest and westernmost of the three territories, with a population of over 41,078 people. The Northwest Territories is the second largest and most populous of the three territories, and the population is estimated at over 44,982 people. The capital is the city of Yellowknife, where most options for senior living would be located. Nunavut is the largest and most northern territory in the country and the second least populous of the Canadian provinces and territories with a population of under 36,000 people. The capital of Nunavut is Iqaluit, where most of the population resides. Due to population sizes within the territories, there are not extensive resources for senior housing. The senior population within the northern territories is one of the fastest-growing within the country.

However, within the three territories, some options for assisted living, retirement communities, and independent living. When deciding on what type of senior living in the best option, it is crucial to determine what level of care is needed. Seniors who require some assistance with the activities of daily living would need some form of assisted living. Independent living for seniors in the northern territories includes apartment-style living and homes for seniors who no longer want the hassle of maintaining a home.

Choosing Assisted Living and or Independent Senior Housing Options in Northern Territories

When considering independent living, it is a good idea to have a budget in mind. The cost for senior housing in the territories varies, but there are subsidized programs and services to help residents. Independent living is any type of housing arrangement designed for seniors, and generally, those aged 55 and older access this form of housing. The types of housing vary, but usually, it is designed to be easier for older adults to navigate. Residents live independently, and most communities offer amenities, activities, and services for residents. Residents of independent living are older adults who do not require assistance with the activities of daily living or any medical care. Typically, when seniors choose some type of independent living, it is close to the amenities and services they need. If living in Yellowknife or Whitehorse, they would choose to live to close services they can access easily, like shopping, food stores, and healthcare.

Assisted living facilities are a residential option for seniors who want or need help with some activities of daily living. For example, this includes things like cooking, transportation, medical assistance, and other activities of daily life. Assisted living facilities in the three territories offer a variety of support. The purpose of assisted living is to help the residents maintain their independence for as long as possible but provide the necessary help and support. When choosing assisted living, it is essential to consider that the facility is well maintained and well-staffed.

The cities in the northern territories have affordable homes and plenty of adventure; however, Whitehorse and Yellowknife would be the best options when considering retirement in the northern territories. The two cities share many similarities, and both are central hubs for government services and other amenities. The city of Whitehorse is generally more affordable than Yellowknife. More than 70% of residents own homes in Whitehorse, whereas 50% do in Yellowknife. Having extra income is important when living in the northern territories because of living is high, especially with groceries. Active seniors who thoroughly enjoy the outdoors and living in the true north, the northern territories would be a place to consider.

The Senior Population in Northern Territories

According to a report titled Seniors in NWT – Summary, in 2018, the population of Northwest Territories was 44,541 people, and both indigenous and non-indigenous have similar population counts. Within the territory at that time, there were 5,981 people aged 60 and older, which made up 13% of the population. Within the younger senior age groups, there are more non-indigenous than indigenous persons. There are more senior men than women in Yellowknife and within the regional centers. Between 2003 and 2018, the senior population rose from 2,787 to 5,981. During that time, the proportion of the population aged 60 and older increased by 115%. Approximately one in four Canadians living in the Northwest Territories is aged 60 and older.

Within the Nunavut Territory, the population could reach 54,000 by 2043. The median age in Nunavut is young and is only 26.1 years old. Within Nunavut, the proportion of seniors aged 65 and older could reach 9.4% of the population. According to the Yukon Bureau of Statistics, in 2018, there were more than 5,200 Yukoners aged 65 and older, which represented 13% of the population. The population of those aged 65 and older is expected to grow to 11,700 by 2040, which is an increase of about 124%, which would represent 21% of the total population.



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Marcel has dedicated his life to helping others find help. He is a Certified Skilled Personal Caregiver from the International Career School (ICS). He started his career in the field of substance abuse 20 years ago and has helped countless families find proper rehabilitation and treatment for their loved ones. Through his experience in this field, he discovered that the process of finding proper care can be difficult. By working with families directly, he found that many were unsure of what options were best for the people they care about. To help with this, Marcel compiled a comprehensive list of quality treatment centers and offered expert information. Doing so helped thousands find quality care for their family and friends. He brings the same type of compassion and professional dedication to ECDOL. He found that regardless of what type of care you seek, there is countless information on the internet, some more helpful then others. With his dedicated team, industry leaders, and medical professionals, Marcel aims to bring comprehensive expert information about Assisted Living and senior care to anyone who needs it.