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lenaitch

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Kingston is a nice city. It has that mid-1800s stone architecture common in many eastern towns and cities.

The one problem I have with it is the concentration of federal correctional facilities tends to either attract inmate families, many of whom who are on social assistance (broad brush) or simply just as bad or addicted as their incarcerated member except they didn't get caught, or after release, they choose to stay in town.
 

ADRM

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There's lots to be said for many of the counties in PEC, though obviously the prices there have gone completely bonkers. Tough to beat the sandy beaches and ocean-esque vistas there; similarly, totally agree with the mention of Port Elgin, and would add Grand Bend for similar reasons.

Closer to Toronto, Dundas has a really lovely main street, great retail (including a Cumbrae's and a couple lovely cafes), and a good collection of relatively reasonably priced Victorians within walking distance thereto..
 

WislaHD

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I'm thinking that development pressure in downtown areas of places like St Catharines, Guelph, Peterborough, will lead to the creation of the right type of housing stock for empty nestors, as well as more relevant walkable retail mix. Plus they have the advantage of being well-serviced by public and private amenities alike.

Definitely following this thread. Learning more about how quaint the downtowns of places like Belleville, Gananoque, Brockville, are. I am a long way's off from retiring, but it makes me want to visit these places even as just a weekend day trip!
 

W. K. Lis

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The "small town" could be within a "big city". For seniors (drive testing needed for those over 80 years old), having a walkable neighbourhood would be a plus. Having accessible public transit is another. If commercial is close to their new residence is another. Many of those points could be in neighbourhoods within "big cities".

Living in a high rise building can be a problem. Would likely want a low-rise building or accept no further up in a high-rise than 7 stories (in case of power failures).
 

MisterF

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If you're looking to live a car free lifestyle you could consider something a bit bigger. Peterborough and Kingston, for example, have full size grocery stores, hardware stores, and multiple clothing stores in their downtowns. They have the usual suburban malls and power centres too but you don't really need to leave downtown for most things. And Kingston has really improved its transit system recently. Smaller towns, while quaint, can be a bit lacking for day to day needs.

Even small towns have mental health issues and you'll still run into beggars and addicts.
 

W. K. Lis

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Might use location shots for Murdoch Mysteries as a starting point.

MurdochMysteries-Jessica6.jpg

From link.

murdoch4-web.jpg

From link.
 

lenaitch

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There's lots to be said for many of the counties in PEC, though obviously the prices there have gone completely bonkers. Tough to beat the sandy beaches and ocean-esque vistas there; similarly, totally agree with the mention of Port Elgin, and would add Grand Bend for similar reasons.

Closer to Toronto, Dundas has a really lovely main street, great retail (including a Cumbrae's and a couple lovely cafes), and a good collection of relatively reasonably priced Victorians within walking distance thereto..

Counties in a County?

Anyone desiring waterfront or vistas is going to have to have quite a nest egg or already own property that can be upgraded.

In the summer, particularly weekends, Grand Bend is much like Wasaga Beach in terms of walkability - you have to walk because it is gridlock. The resident population is about 2K so the year-round services will likely mirror that population. I lived in Bala for 5 years - there was no grocery store (there is now). In areas that have a heavy seasonal or tourist influence, you have to look past the summer for year-round livability. As you age, services such as doctors, hospitals, etc. become more important than bistros.
 

SunriseChampion

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Paris. Midland. Penetanguishene.

I'll vote for Kingston as well. Visited there for the first time ever at the beginning of June and think it's the dog's bollocks and the bee's knees and I'd live there if I didn't have a job.
 

W. K. Lis

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Paris. Midland. Penetanguishene.

I'll vote for Kingston as well. Visited there for the first time ever at the beginning of June and think it's the dog's bollocks and the bee's knees and I'd live there if I didn't have a job.

Any news on what will happen with the old Kingston Pen? From link.

...
The magnitude of Kingston Penitentiary's frontage confirmed, in their minds, that the property is ripe for a total re-imagination.

Down with the imposing boundary walls that once isolated the likes of Paul Bernardo and Clifford Olson. Up with residential units, restaurants and retail space. Up, importantly, with what the Kingston mayor deemed an "intriguing" feature: an international sailing centre to solidify the Ontario city as the freshwater sailing capital of the world, improve Canada's chances of winning Olympic medals and attract people to the sport.

"This all started at the end of my driveway," said George Hood, a former Queen's University vice-principal who grew up sailing and raced competitively. "We were talking one night and we said, 'Well, somebody should figure out what the hell to do with Kingston Pen.' And one thing led to another."

In early 2012, "we" was himself and 1976 Olympic sailor Michael de la Roche. But the "we" has grown to include Queen's University's meeting facilitator, former racer George Jackson; and John Curtis, a Kingston lawyer and 2004 Olympic sailor who, along with Mr. Hood, got an audience in May with a cabinet minister's staff in Ottawa to discuss the proposal.

No longer a working prison as of last month, the property would be transformed into a mixed-use development that could retain heritage structures such as the front gate, the main dome and the north cell block. The $50-million sailing centre would boast dormitories, fitness facilities, a 300-foot-wide launch ramp, training programs, a fleet of boats and, perhaps, an indoor tank so rowers could train in the off-season.

"The concept sounds very intriguing," Mayor Mark Gerretsen said, adding that the plan does not explicitly require city hall's approval, but would need council's backing for rezoning. "I'm very optimistic."

It's early days – the penitentiary will not be decommissioned until 2015, Correctional Service Canada (CSC) has not decided what to do with the property, and multiple federal government departments could be involved in any lease, sale or transfer.

It is unclear how heritage designations for most of the prison buildings will complicate future plans, and other proposals must be considered.

There have been lofty thoughts of preserving the penitentiary as an "Alcatraz North." More than 9,000 people bought tickets this month for tours in support of the United Way, but the reality is that Ottawa shuttered the outdated prison because it is too costly to maintain.

There have been murmurings in the pages of The Kingston Whig-Standard of incorporating a casino into a future plan.

And former warden Monty Bourke said some people want the prison levelled to erase it from the city's collective memory.

Residents of neighbouring Alwington Place have asked Mr. Hood's group, "how high are you going to go?" with the proposed 500 high-end condo units, but the sailing vision – which proposes low- or mid-rise units, not towers – nonetheless appears to be the idea with the most momentum.

Public meetings about creating an international sailing centre in Kingston have attracted upward of 150 people at a time, and the proponents are planning an invitation-only presentation in Ottawa for CSC, Sport Canada and a few other departments.

Jeff Garrah, CEO of the Kingston Economic Development Corp., deemed the proposal "worth exploring" because the city played host to the sailing events for the 1976 Montreal Olympics and is home to the annual Canadian Olympic-training regatta in Kingston (CORK).

Even the Friends of the Penitentiary Museum, a non-profit that wants key structures maintained as an experiential museum, said the sailing vision does not necessarily contradict their own. And Mr. Curtis said he and Mr. Hood felt their proposal got a good reception at the May meeting with two of Treasury Board President Tony Clement's staffers, one of whom had recently attended the America's Cup in San Francisco.

Mr. Clement's acting director of communications, Aaron Scheewe, said the office is "very much aware" of the proposal, but said the discussion about the property – assessed at $17.6-million – was routine.

"If someone calls and has a legitimate proposal they put forward, it's our obligation to hear them out," he said.

Since the chat on Mr. Hood's driveway last year, the sailing group has hired U.S. architects Norris Strawbridge and Gary Anderson – who designed the 2004 Olympic sailing site in Athens – and enlisted the services of government relations firm Hill & Knowlton.

They've also received formal letters of support from Sail Canada, CORK, Ontario Sailing, and the Canadian Olympic Committee.

"I think it's got a lot of potential and a lot of traction," Mr. Bourke said, adding that he hopes Friends will get approval to run regular tours next year while Ottawa mulls its options.

"Let's just tell our story the way it is: the good, the bad, the sad, the famous, the infamous. That's our history, whether we like it or not."
 

urbannorth

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St. Catharines/Thorold/Welland.

Weather is a bit milder in winter than Toronto. Not that far away from Toronto to visit friends. Can watch cheap hockey across the border.
 

W. K. Lis

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St. Catharines/Thorold/Welland.

Weather is a bit milder in winter than Toronto. Not that far away from Toronto to visit friends. Can watch cheap hockey across the border.

Being in the lee of the lakes, I would expect more snow squalls, which tend to miss Toronto.

lestreamer.jpg

From link.

Normal areas for snow squalls...
307599_1_En_14_Fig1_HTML.gif

From link.
 

Towered

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Paris. Midland. Penetanguishene.

I'll vote for Kingston as well. Visited there for the first time ever at the beginning of June and think it's the dog's bollocks and the bee's knees and I'd live there if I didn't have a job.

Several mentions of Midland so far, but I'm struggling to see its appeal. I went there last summer, and the older downtown is fairly rough around the edges. Bit of a hurtin' place compared with some other similarly sized towns.
 

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