NewsGlobe and Mail: Luxury accommodations let you age with style
Simpler alternatives abound for different life stages
In the coming decades, one in four Canadians will be aged 65 or older, with the population of those 85 and older tripling by 2068, according to Statistics Canada. It’s a striking picture that has caught the attention of Ontario developers who are creating exciting living alternatives for seniors.
With 33 different seniors’ living developments and two more on the way, Verve Senior Living has deep knowledge and experience in designing custom spaces for an aging population. The company’s latest development, The Shores of Port Credit Retirement Residences, a luxury rental community for seniors, sits on the shores of Lake Ontario and is just steps away from restaurants, dockside attractions and all that Port Credit has to offer.
Residents of The Shores benefit from a full continuum of care, with options for independent living, assisted living and memory care for those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia. The Shores is a marriage of luxury and convenience and safety.
“We offer nursing care, memory care, medication management, physical therapy and assistance with daily living like bathing and dressing,” says general manager Stephen Holland.
“But when you walk in the door you quickly realize The Shores is not like any retirement home you might imagine. It’s more like a luxury cruise ship or a five-star hotel.”
Stylish one- and two-bedroom units are filled with light and space, and each one is equipped with full kitchens, spacious closets, and extra-wide doorways and halls. Smart technology, including motion-detector lights and emergency response systems, deliver comfort and security.
Beyond the doorways of the individual apartments, The Shores offers exceptional dining, extensive amenities and enriching seniors’ programs – from Zumba classes and karaoke nights to special events with guest speakers, such as historians and experts in fraud prevention, scam prevention and downsizing.
“We have three resident meetings a month focused on topics like culinary and life enrichment,” Holland says.
“We are a guest in their home and we’re doing everything we can do to improve their lives by taking their feedback and actioning what they want to see.”
Holland says there is a strong emphasis on building community and food is central to that philosophy.
“Food is one thing that touches everybody. We have an open-concept kitchen in our dining area so residents can see, hear and smell their food as it’s being prepared. We have a robust menu touching on different ethnicities,” Holland says.
“Knowing that some of our residents loved to bake at home, we have household kitchens throughout the building and offer baking programs.”
With healthy living top of mind, The Shores’ culinary team is constantly making meals from scratch with local ingredients. Residents enjoy monthly brunches, daily specials and morning smoothies in the pub. There are indoor and outdoor dining spaces as well as private rooms for family gatherings.
Bryan Levy, chief executive officer of DBS Developments, says Toronto needs more enticing alternatives for seniors as well as younger generations who might be looking to leave their large homes for a simpler way of life.
Levy says this is a big part of the inspiration for his company’s new and exclusive luxury development, 2Fifteen, a 20-storey, 177-suite building on Lonsdale Road in Toronto’s upscale tree-lined neighbourhood of Forest Hill.
“There’s a growing need in the city for this type of experience. Many parents want to be close to their children and their grandchildren without the worry of home ownership and their children want that for them, too,” Levy says.
While seniors and retirees will find much about 2Fifteen appealing, the project has luxurious features and amenities that are attractive to all age demographics.
With its large and open suites featuring plenty of storage, European-style kitchens, luxurious spa bathrooms and spacious balconies looking out over Forest Hill, 2Fifteen has plenty to offer. Custom millwork, high-end Gaggenau appliances, bronze finishes, engineered hardwood floors, wine fridges and automatic blinds in the two-bedroom suites make the decision to move to 2Fifteen an attractive one for those looking to right-size but not sacrifice the luxuries of home.
With 2Fifteen, DBS is changing the perception of renting in Toronto.
“We are able to offer security of tenure, meaning this is their home for as long as they want to be here, because it is a purpose-built rental building that we built, own and operate,” Levy says.
Almost one in three Canadian seniors lives alone, twice the percentage of the general population, according to Statistics Canada. About half over the age of 80 report feeling lonely, according to a report from the National Seniors Council. Research has linked loneliness to diabetes, heart disease, stroke, mental illness, and the onset of Alzheimer’s, dementia and other health issues.
Thanks to a dedicated team of experts, especially curated by DBS for 2Fifteen, the space is buzzing with activity.
“We’re constantly listening to our residents and their interests,” says Kellie Speakman, vice-president, residential, at DBS Developments. “There are cooking classes in the chef’s kitchen. We have health and wellness events in our fitness centre. There is a games room as an expansion of our party room. We’re building a sense of community by bringing our amenities to life and bringing our residents together.”
DBS has also reached out to local experts and professionals to establish partnerships that ultimately benefit the residents.
“One of our residents lost her husband and she found it difficult to live in her home alone,” Speakman says. “She was excited for a fresh start. One of our partners is a designer and was able to help her visualize what going from a house to an apartment could look like and what pieces of art she could bring from her extensive art collection.”
Using an app called Rise made in the United States and customized for 2Fifteen, residents can pay their rent, order caterers for private functions, secure dog walking and grooming services or on-site vehicle detailing services. They can also issue wireless keys to a caregiver or family member.
Senior living at its best combines the comforts of home with luxurious amenities and professional services. And the options for growing old in style are becoming more numerous in the GTA.
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