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News / People / Real Estate

Retirees snap up a high quality of life in Medicine Hat, Alberta

June 6, 2019

Driving down Medicine Hat’s 13th Avenue, your eye might catch a sign for Chinook Village. The façade, which sports signage for a hair salon, a foot clinic and a day care, is on the edge of a retirement community spanning a full city block, including a 40,000 square foot garden.

“What you see here is six buildings connected,” says Chinook Village lifestyles coordinator Jolene McIvor, of the scale of the retirement community. “That’s over two miles of walking you can do without ever stepping foot outside.”

Built over a 10 year period on the site of Hillcrest Christian College, Chinook Village is a 434,574 square foot retirement community in Medicine Hat, opened in 1992 and owned by the Chinook Village Housing Society.

Chinook Village Care Society, a registered charity, operates the assisted and supportive living suites and employs 72 people, including licensed practical nurses, healthcare aides, accounting and marketing professionals, a Red Seal chef and certified recreational therapists.

Of Chinook Village’s 342 suites, 180 are independent living suites, 69 are assisted living suites, 93 are supported living suites and two suites are dedicated to respite care. Residents have a woodworking shop, full-service kitchen, library, lounges, and a chapel among the amenities available to them.

An ice cream parlour and new fitness centre are in the works. The goal is to build destination spaces where people can gather within the community.

“We are looking at how we can be more appealing to boomers,” says Lacey Lerner, finance manager for Chinook Village. “They normally look for high quality communities with options.”

Chinook Village’s strategic location on 13th Avenue adds to the mix. Grocers, doctors, dentists, pharmacists and clothiers are all within walking distance of the retirement complex.

As Southeast Alberta’s largest service centre, Medicine Hat offers residents the right mix of sporting, cultural, and recreational pursuits — everything from pickleball to the city’s beloved Medicine Hat Tigers are on the rise. The city is growing, too, with Aurora Cannabis and Folium Biosciences Canada expected to create nearly 1,000 jobs in coming years, while wind and solar farms take root throughout the region.

Buoyed by economic growth, a number of developments are coming online, with sights set on the retirement market. Masterpiece Retirement recently opened Southland Meadows, and phase two is underway. Covenant Health, meanwhile, plans to build a retirement community in the established Riverside neighbourhood, while Canalta Group has proposed a 245-unit assisted living facility as part of their 17 acre Strachan Road development.

Well known as Canada’s sunniest city, Medicine Hat appeals to those seeking the lowest combined tax rate in Canada, the lowest utility rates in Alberta and an enviable climate of hot, dry summers and short, mild winters.

“It’s a great place to live,” says Jon Sookocheff, interim CEO of Invest Medicine Hat. “Whether you’re just starting out, or looking to retire, Medicine Hat is a bright spot in Western Canada.”

To learn more about relocating to Medicine Hat, check out Medicine Hat’s Relocation Guide.