When Kurt and Bev Rothenmund were retiring, they looked at Ontario communities between London and Kingston, including Tillsonburg.
"We kept coming back to Tillsonburg," said Kurt, now 75.
In October 2003 they moved from Winnipeg to Baldwin Place, an adult lifestyle community on the west end of Tillsonburg.
"The location was ideal," said Kurt, hiking on The Carroll Trail near The Bridges at Tillsonburg Wednesday afternoon.
Recently Tillsonburg was recognized as No. 8 on a list of 'Best Places in Ontario for Retirees' by Business Advice Source (www.businessadvicesource.com/11-best-places-in-ontario-for-retirees/).
Citing information similar to that posted by Comfort Life in 2016, the author Marc Gregory highlighted Tillsonburg's proximity to 'breathtaking beaches' at Turkey Point and Long Point, low crime rates and property taxes, access to health care at Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital, and scenic spots like Annandale National Historic Site.
Lake Lisgar could easily have been added to his list, as well as the town's trail system. And The Station Arts Centre, for its arts and culture.
"Safe, secure and stable, Tillsonburg is ideal for a quiet, comfortable retirement... Tillsonburg brings an element of true old-world charm into the 21st century."
"It's good to hear that because we do have a safe community, a good place to raise your children," said Tillsonburg Deputy Mayor Dave Beres. "We offer good employment, we offer reasonable taxes, and wonderful services. We have all the amenities that are needed. We are close to shopping, close to the major highways and close to the lakes for recreation. And we have affordable property - that's something people want to see, especially seniors."
Hickory Hills, established in 1986, and Baldwin Place after, are both adult lifestyle communities that helped put Tillsonburg on the map for retirees, each featuring their own community centres.
"We're very attractive for retirement communities," said Beres. "And our trail system is second to none. It's very attractive to people who are in their senior years."
The Tillsonburg Community Centre, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2012, includes two arenas, fitness centre, 25-metre pool and its own thriving Senior Centre, which has more than 500 members participating in fitness, arts, dance and education activities.
The Top 7 Ontario communities on Business Advice Source's 2017 list were Peterborough, Stratford, London, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Kingston, Cobourg, and Collingwood.
Lists of this type are published annually. Tillsonburg was not in Ontario's Top 5 in a 2016 article published by CAA, which listed Kingston, Peterborough, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Cobourg (and nearby Port Hope), and Stratford. A similar article by MoneySense in 2016 ranked the Top 10 in Canada, which included Kingston, Collingwood, Port Credit, Stratford, Toronto, and Ottawa.
Comfort Life published a 2016 article that listed Owen Sound, Stratford, Elliot Lake, Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Peterborough, Windsor, and Kingston.
Narrowing the 2016 list to Southwestern Ontario, Comfort Life ranked Tillsonburg sixth.
"No. 123 on Canada's overall list of places to live, Tillsonburg is a charming, quiet, peaceful little town, with a passel of other similar peaceful towns nearby. It's close to Lake Erie and spectacular beaches like Turkey Point and Long Point. As you would expect, it has an extremely low crime rate (having decreased 26 per cent in the last three years), low property taxes, and just enough local activity to keep life interesting. And it's stable. It is a great place to retire."
Brantford, ranked No. 125 in Canada in 2016, also made Comfort Life's Southwestern Ontario list, coming in at No. 7 just behind Tillsonburg.
And, just because lists are fun, MoneySense in 2011 ranked Tillsonburg No. 13 in Canada among the cities with less than 25,000 people.
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