Drive around most cities and towns in Canada and you’ll pass by a variety of retirement homes with enchanting names. Why does one cost more than another? Some provide seniors with a basic lifestyle; others provide an exceptional quality of life. To see what this means in a concrete way in one location — Whitby, Ontario — you can examine how the premium lifestyle offered at Amica Whitby compares with another Whitby retirement home that charges less. There’s no doubt that both places promise caring staff and a friendly community of peers. Amica offers more choice, flexibility and service for seniors interested in maintaining their standard of living as they age.


Image for Conversations Article Compare basic retirement  home  to premium senior living


Basic senior living:

  • May be located in the suburbs or outskirts of a city or town near most amenities

Amica premium senior living:

  • Typically located in prime locations and established neighbourhoods near most amenities

Building Design

Basic senior living:

  • Basic materials, finishes and fixtures

  • Practical furniture and decor

Amica premium senior living:

  • Higher-quality building materials and finishes such as solid wood, brick

  • Elegant furniture and design

Dining Room

Basic senior living:

  • Placemats, basic tableware

Amica premium senior living:

  • White table linens, china

  • Professionally dressed and attentive service staff

  • Snacks and refreshments always available in the self-serve bistro

  • Meals can be taken in the dining room, bistro, patio or as takeout

Sample Menus

Basic senior living:


  • Blueberry French toast with bacon

  • Eggs cooked to order

  • Mixed fruit


  • Garden salad

  • Meat loaf

  • Cabbage rolls

  • Mixed vegetables


  • Tomato soup

  • Chicken Caesar salad

  • Cheese and green onion biscuit

Desserts at lunch and dinner

  • Lime gelatin salad

  • Saskatoon berry pie

Amica premium senior living:


  • Choice of 11 options including pastries, fruit, yogurt, eggs with bacon, sausage or ham, waffles, pancakes, cold cereals, oatmeal porridge, cream of wheat, etc.


  • 3 daily specials including chicken vegetable soup, citrus spinach salad with grilled chicken breast and candied pecans, or prime rib au jus

  • Choose from à la carte items such as salads, sandwiches, sirloin beef burgers, etc.


  • 3 daily specials including freshly made soup or salad plus choice roast beef tenderloin or pan-seared rainbow trout

  • Choose from à la carte items such as BBQ chicken, pasta Bolognese, grilled salmon, etc.

Desserts at lunch and dinner

  • Freshly baked cookies

  • Pie of the day

  • Bread pudding

  • Fruit sorbets/ice cream

  • Fresh fruit salad

  • Variety of diabetic choices


Basic senior living:

  • Resident lounge with fireplace

  • Billiards lounge/game room

  • Salon and barber shop

  • Chapel

  • Computer room with internet

  • Fitness/exercise equipment

  • Large-screen TV lounge

  • Library

  • Laundry facilities

  • Private dining room

  • Common kitchen

  • Outdoor seating and paths

Amica premium senior living:

  • 3 main-floor lounges with fireplace, board games, etc.

  • Self-serve bistro for snacks

  • Fully licensed pub with billiards

  • Saltwater pool

  • Fitness centre

  • Home theatre room

  • Library and business centre with internet

  • Craft kitchen

  • Beauty salon and spa

  • Dedicated dining room, lounge and terrace for assisted living residents

  • Private dining room

  • Gardener’s greenhouse

  • Guest suite available for out-of-town guests

  • Corner store

  • Patio for outdoor gatherings and BBQs


Basic senior living:

  • Weekly housekeeping

  • Scheduled transportation

  • 24-hour staff

  • Emergency alert system

Amica premium senior living:

  • Daily and weekly housekeeping

  • On-the-Go bus for shopping and excursions

  • 24-hour on-site concierge

  • 24-hour nurse and wellness team

  • Scheduled visits from local specialty health services (physician, audiologist, etc.)

  • Group fitness programs such as walking club, exercises classes

  • Personalized wellness program tailored to each resident’s social, physical, intellectual and care/support goals

  • Brain fitness programs designed to meet each resident’s goals and interests

  • Flexible, enhanced care available in case health/support needs change

Sample Activities

Basic senior living:

  • Fall-prevention class

  • Carpet bowling

  • Bean bag toss

  • Trivia

  • Bingo

  • Euchre

  • Knitting

  • Arts and crafts

Amica premium senior living:

  • Cooking demonstrations

  • Aqua fit classes

  • Live performances by musicians, dancers or guest speakers

  • Social gatherings, celebrations and themed parties

  • Trivia, card games

  • Painting classes, garden club

Possible bus outings

Basic senior living:

  • Walmart

  • Local plaza

  • Local farm

  • LCBO/pharmacy

  • Lunch and movie outing

Amica premium senior living:

  • Shopping

  • Blue Jays games

  • Casino visit

  • Boat tours

  • Lunch, movie or theatre outings

You'll be surrounded by great amenities, flexible dining, activities and personalized support at Amica residences. Book your personal visit today.