Retirement Living

The limitations of researching retirement homes online

October 25, 2022

You may think that finding all the senior living communities near you would be as simple as typing “senior living communities near me” into Google. But that’s not the case.

Let’s take Ottawa as an example. Typing in “senior living communities Ottawa” will likely give you a list of about 22 retirement communities in Google Maps. 

But that’s not a complete list. That’s because only a fraction of businesses show up on Google Maps.

Google Maps doesn’t show everything

Think about it for a moment. If you look at Google Maps for an area you’re familiar with – particularly if it’s an urban area – you’ll realize that there are all sorts of businesses that don’t show up. If they all did, the map would be filled with so many pins it would be difficult to read.

The same is true for senior living communities. Google Maps doesn’t give you a complete list. And just because a senior living community makes it on to Google Maps doesn’t mean that it’s top of class.

Other listings

You’ll notice other search results when you type “senior living communities Ottawa” into Google. Many are ads for individual retirement communities. Others are for listings. These include,,, and

Every listing is a little bit different. Some only offer a partial listing of senior living communities while others strive to be comprehensive. They may vary in the level of detail they provide about each residence. And they may also differ in how up-to-date their information is, something that may be hard to judge unless they indicate when each record was last updated.

Probably the most complete and up-to-date list of senior living communities / retirement homes is provided by It shows 70 residences in an area that includes Kanata, Nepean, Gloucester, Vanier, Orleans, and Ottawa itself. It also lists many more in the surrounding area.

Of course, listings don’t tell you which residences are well-regarded and which aren’t. And they often don’t give you enough information for you to decide which are likely a good fit for your specific needs, preferences, and budget.

Someone sitting cross legged with a laptop in their lap while holding a coffee mug
Just because a senior living community makes it on to Google doesn’t mean that it’s top of class.

Where do I start?

So, if there are actually 70 senior living communities in the Ottawa area to choose from, where do you even start? It’s impractical to contact all 70 of them, much less tour them all. In fact, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the range of choices available. After doing the research, you may have a hard time making sense of it all.

What you need is some impartial, “inside” advice that will help you cut through the reams of information and develop a workable shortlist.

That’s where we come in. Our Senior Living Advisors have toured every home in Ottawa. We start by meeting with you to uncover your needs, wants, budget, and location preferences. From there, we recommend retirement communities that are likely to be a good fit. We can also take you on tours of residences on your shortlist.

Conducting the search process yourself – research, calls, and touring – can take up to 80+ hours. And you still may have a hard time making a decision at the end of it all.

We simplify the process, saving you a lot of time, removing a lot of the guess work, and allowing you to make a well-informed choice.

Sound like a plan? Simply contact us to get the ball rolling.

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