Retirement Living in Toronto: An Interview with The Sumach by Chartwell

Finding the right retirement home can be overwhelming.

Whether it’s you or a family member looking at options for retirement living in Toronto, there are so many independent senior homes to choose from. Services, amenities, and lifestyles can vary widely. There also are important differences in the quality of care provided as we age and need an increasing amount of support.

For some of us, the best retirement homes may be ones providing the flexibility to customize the services and care we receive as our needs evolve.

For this month’s Up-Close & Personal, we spoke with Grant Hooper, Retirement Living Consultant at The Sumach by Chartwell in downtown Toronto. The Sumach offers a friendly, welcoming community along with à la carte services and support. This means residents build their own personalized packages and adapt them as they need to.

Grant Hooper

Up-Close & Personal with Grant Hooper

Retirement Living Consultant

Transitions Realty: What makes The Sumach enjoyable and unique?

Grant Hooper: The Sumach is a fresh take on retirement. We offer a unique situation for seniors who are 55 and older to come into our building and opt into services as they see fit.

We offer wellness services, we offer food and beverage services, but we don’t require that you automatically opt into those because the units have full kitchens, in-suite laundry, etc. It’s condo-style living. In terms of needs for services, we have people on different ends of the spectrum.

The selling point is the community. People have such a love for the people they live with.

Transitions Realty: We’re big advocates of aging in place. How does The Sumach enable residents to live in place?

Grant Hooper: It’s the fundamental of what we’re offering. It’s providing an environment for seniors who can age in place because we offer services through our wellness team.

People can move in while they’re still independent. As their health changes, we provide that safety net for them. They’re not having a health crisis, going into hospital, and then they’re like, “Oh no, I have to sell my house, I have to sell my condo.” And making that decision on the fly.

Transitions Realty: The Sumach is in Regent Park in downtown Toronto. Tell us about the neighbourhood.

Grant Hooper: Over the past 20 years, there’s been a revitalization in this area. We have green spaces, community pools, and independently owned cafes.

While there’s parking onsite, our residents don’t need to drive, as there are many local amenities just outside our door. We’re sandwiched between Cabbagetown, The Distillery District, Canary District, and Corktown.

Transitions Realty: Tell us about the suites, what’s included in them, and what your rates are like. Also, what sorts of amenities and activities can residents expect?

Grant Hooper: There’s a stereotype that retirement communities are very expensive. That’s not always the case. Our starting rates for a studio are low to mid-two thousands*. We have options ranging from studio layouts all the way to townhouse layouts.

Our lists of amenities and inclusions is long. We include a chauffeur car service, home phone, cable, Internet, TV, and monthly housekeeping. We have a beautiful terrace and a theatre. The building is pet-friendly.

The average age is a little younger than in a typical retirement community. We offer yoga and meditation, and for people who are less mobile or don’t want to participate in those things, we provide various other activities, such as crochet classes and trivia. There’s lots of things we can do. At The Sumach, the sky’s the limit!

* This pricing was in effect when this post was published. Prices are subject to change.

“The Sumach by Chartwell has treated us with respect and care. Our mother loves her new residence, and we feel comfortable she is safe and surrounded by a community of people who are there if she needs support.” — April Marshall

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