The number of adults over 65 is set to almost double by 2041 in Toronto according to research by Toronto City Hall.
The rest of Canada is following the same trend with recent statistics showing that the percentage of adults over 65 rose from 11.4% in 1996 to 15.7% in 2016 across the whole country.
In Toronto, between 1996 and 2016 there was growth in percentage of the over 65s across every former municipality of the city, except East York, with Scarborough, North York and Etobicoke having the highest percentages of seniors.
In Scarborough, between 1996 and 2016, the percentage rose from 11 to 15.8; in North York, from 14 to 16; in York, from 12.4 to 13.9; and in old Toronto from 11.2 to 12.2. Etobicoke, which has the largest percentage of older people in the city at 16.1 per cent, even higher than the national statistic, rose from 14.2 per cent. East York was the only area in the city which dropped, going from 14.5 to 13 per cent.
Glenn Miller, senior associate of the Canadian Urban Institute, states that the demographic change that Canada is going through is unprecedented. He states that the shift leaves Toronto with a huge challenge of redesigning the suburbs to enable people to stay independent longer.
Miller argues that ideally, a senior should be able to grow older without having to leave their neighbourhood, so that they can age actively and gracefully and perhaps avoid the need to move into long-term care eventually.
In response to the predicted shift in age of the city’s population The City of Toronto has approved a ‘Seniors Strategy’ to ensure that the city’s housing and infrastructure are set up to support the over 65s in their needs to ensure that they can continue living safely and comfortably in their homes and neighbourhoods.
One of the best ways for homeowners in residential properties to remain in their own home into older age is by installing a home elevator. With the demand for such elevators rocketing in line with the number of older people, so the technological capabilities of elevators are ensuring that they are a practical and affordable solution which can also be installed simply and quickly.
So while Toronto and the rest of Canada are addressing the wider issues of transportation and public areas for the growing number of seniors, a residential elevator can ensure that a homeowner has full accessibility around their own house, even if mobility becomes more difficult in older age.