A summer getaway in Ontario may be the first step towards your downsizing dreams

By Keisha Telfer
June 10, 2021

Location. Location. Location. This is the single-most important question to answer when you start thinking about downsizing. Whether you have already figured out the “where,” or are just starting to research the areas that appeal to you – or somewhere in between – one of the first things Transitions Realty does is help clients determine the location that truly works best for you. Is it a condo in the city? A quaint one-storey home close to your existing neighbourhood? Or maybe you are toying with the idea of starting this next chapter in an entirely new city somewhere in Ontario? You wouldn’t be alone.

It’s no secret that Torontonians have been vacating the city in droves this past year, prompted mainly by the pandemic. From Prince Edward County and Kingston to the east, to the fresh water shores of Georgian Bay to the north… How do you decide which area, and whether moving to a smaller city will ultimately work for you? At Transitions, we use our exclusive three-step downsizing process to uncover what you really want. As your downsizing specialists, our job is to ensure your real estate choices align with your desired lifestyle.

It’s not nearly as daunting as you think – it will even be fun. With summer finally here, it is the perfect time of year to venture out in Ontario and enjoy a much-needed break from the city. While you’re making the most of the pandemic-friendly road trip, you will without a doubt also get a feel for the place you are visiting. You never know when downsizing inspiration may strike!
So, pack your bags and let’s start with a popular road trip destination.


Ah, the world-famous Falls, just a short picturesque drive from Ontario’s most prolific wine country. Summer wouldn’t be complete without a visit to this iconic natural wonder, or an afternoon spent soaking in the 19th century charm of Niagara-on-the-Lake. There are many reasons the region attracts 14 million visitors annually as well as many new residents and businesses.

In fact, all 12 municipalities in the Niagara region are experiencing unprecedented growth. “From 2016 to 2021, the region welcomed 27,600 people, a 6.1-per-cent increase,” says Blake Landry, manager of economic research and development in the Niagara region.

He explains further that during this same five-year period, “the municipalities with the highest relative population growth included: Thorold (19 per cent), Niagara-on-the-Lake (13 per cent), Pelham (12 per cent) and Niagara Falls (nine per cent).”

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board expects the Toronto housing market to continue to be in the seller’s favour throughout 2021, and predicts a further six-per-cent increase in home values this year. Landry reports that the latest average housing price for Niagara region rose by 41 per cent from March 2020 to March 2021. The benefits of downsizing now in this prosperous market are two-fold – offering increased equity, and as a sound investment in a growing region. If Niagara so far is ticking all the boxes, which one of the 12 municipalities might you set your sights on?


“Although many believe areas like Niagara-on-the-Lake and Pelham would be the major attractions for the 55-plus demographic, places like Fort Erie and Port Colborne are desirable because these communities have a lot of lake access and facilities that appeal to retirees,” says Landry. And there is a lot of building going on in the area to cater to this demographic.

There are builders such as award-winning Blythwood Homes that specialize in master-planned active adult lifestyle communities in the Niagara Region. Blythwood is known for its high-quality design, contemporary spaces geared towards the needs of mature adults who want a maintenance-free lifestyle. “We are seeing an inordinate amount of people from Toronto – more like an exodus from the GTA – with buyers from far-flung areas such as Milton, Oshawa, Newmarket and Mississauga,” says Rob Mills, president of Blythwood Homes.

Mills confirms the company has a number of planned developments on the horizon to accommodate the influx of soon-to-be former Torontonians flocking to the region. During your visit, take a drive to the area to see if it appeals to you. For example, The Oaks at Six Mile Creek is a current development in Ridgeway (part of Fort Erie). If your interest is piqued and you want to take a step further and check out a suite, as your realtor, we would arrange the model house tour and ensure you gather all the information you need to make a decision that is right for you.


Remember, though, new construction or active adult communities may not be for everyone, there are also resale options. With all the choices out there, you don’t have to feel overwhelmed; downsizing experts are here to guide you. The important thing right now is that you enjoy this exploratory part of the journey. This getaway may inspire an entirely new chapter in a new place… or you might just enjoy a well-deserved summer holiday. It’s a win-win either way.

Safe travels.

About Keisha Telfer

Keisha Telfer is President and Broker of Record, Transitions Realty. Keisha is a real estate expert and a co-founder of Transitions Realty. She provides valuable support and direction to clients considering a major downsizing or rightsizing lifestyle transition. You can contact her directly at 647.948.7415.

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