Fieldgate buying, building to grow its retirement portfolio

IMAGE: Fieldgate Retirement Living has acquired the Castle Peak Muskoka retirement residence, as well as adjacent developable land, in Bracebridge, Ont. (Courtesy Fieldgate)

Fieldgate Retirement Living has acquired the Castle Peak Muskoka retirement residence as well as adjacent developable land in Bracebridge, Ont. (Courtesy Fieldgate)

Fieldgate Retirement Living emerged from the Fieldgate Group of Companies in 2015 and is on an increasingly steep growth trajectory which it plans to continue as Ontario’s population ages.

Family-owned and -operated Fieldgate has built more than 20,000 houses in the Greater Toronto Area since 1957. As it has grown and branched out with new affiliates, it has also developed and leased millions of square feet of shopping centre and commercial business park space.

The Toronto-based company is also involved with construction management and owns four golf courses.

“The people who bought homes from Fieldgate years ago are now empty-nesters and moving into their retirement years,” Fieldgate Retirement Living vice-president of operations Ray Barlow told RENX. “There’s a natural transition to move into Fieldgate Retirement Living.”

Fieldgate Retirement Living communities

Fieldgate Retirement Living’s first property was Kingsway Place in Aurora. The company acquired 50 units and built a 70-unit addition while modernizing the facility.

It recently acquired Castle Peak Muskoka in Bracebridge. The deal included a 122-suite retirement home and two acres of developable land on which Fieldgate plans to build 28 rental bungalow townhomes.

“People like the towns,” said Barlow. “They like to be close to a supportive community and maybe have some meals and services that they can access, but also have their own independence.

“It’s proven to be a very strong space, so we’re actively working on that right now and hoping to come up with something that the Town of Bracebridge will agree to.”

Fieldgate Retirement Living offers a range of residential options at its Ontario facilities, including independent and supportive-living, seniors’ apartments and townhomes, and respite and trial stays.

Seniors’ apartments come equipped with full kitchens with a microwave oven and dishwasher as well as an en-suite washer and dryer. They also feature emergency response and additional services such as weekly housekeeping can be added.

Studio, one-bedroom, one-bedroom-plus-den and two-bedroom independent living accommodations consist of suites with fully equipped kitchenettes.

They also include services common to such residences, including: meals and snacks; dietary and nutritional counselling; leisure and fitness programs and excursions; housekeeping services; and 24/7 staffing, including health support and more.

In addition to everything offered in the independent living programs, supportive living offers residents additional hospitality and healthcare services.

Upcoming developments

Fieldgate has other projects in the pipeline.

It hopes to start construction on Whitby Harbour, which will have 151 seniors’ apartments and 140 retirement suites, in the next month. The Whitby facility will offer varying levels of care and residents can adapt their program as their needs change.

Two phases of development are planned. The first is a dedicated seniors apartment. The second is a full-service retirement residence with a dedicated care floor. The buildings will be connected via common amenity spaces for all residents.

“Most seniors that are moving out of their homes are looking for some sort of support, either with food and meals, some nursing support where they get assistance with medication, or just a general community where they have others with similar life skills and interests who they can relate to and get along with,” said Barlow.

Burlington Creekside in Burlington will be a 127-unit full-service retirement home offering independent and assisted-living options. It’s in the development stage and will include a variety of amenities and outdoor spaces.

Dundas Valley in Dundas is another project in development that will offer a variety of retirement living options. It will have 66 apartments and 17 bungalow towns for more independent residents, plus 75 retirement and assisted-living suites for those with more needs.

Amenities will include a theatre, a swimming pool and a wellness centre.

“The traditional retirement home is a needed and valued resource, but the apartments and the townhomes offer alternate lifestyles that people are finding a lot of comfort in and like the independence they offer,” said Barlow.

Fieldgate Living, a division of Fieldgate Retirement Living, has a development planned in Milton that’s designed for active adults and geared toward empty-nesters looking to downsize. The apartment building will feature amenities including a gym, a party room and a theatre room.

Aging population good for business

Barlow said Fieldgate Retirement Living is working on more acquisitions and is most interested in properties around the Greater Toronto Area, from Mississauga in the west to Cobourg in the east.

The 85-plus cohort is the fastest-growing age group in Canada and is expected to triple in the next 25 years, according to census figures.

That bodes well for companies like Fieldgate Retirement Living and may come as good news after retirement communities took an occupancy hit following high illness and death totals in long-term care facilities in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The retirement living and seniors housing option is different from long-term care,” explained Barlow. “Long-term care is more of an institutional setting where you may have two to four people in a room, though sometimes there are singles. There’s more communal dining.

“With retirement facilities, everyone has their own room and bathroom and kitchenette or kitchen. People have independence and their own space.”

Barlow said Fieldgate Group of Companies shares resources among its divisions and “a number of capital resources are interested in what we’re doing.” He noted there are more opportunities for investors interested in Fieldgate Retirement Living.

“The seniors market is obviously growing and the companies that are going to be providing the services and the accommodations that seniors are looking for will be successful,” said Barlow.

“We intend to be one of them.”

Steve is a veteran writer, reporter, editor and communications specialist whose work has appeared in a wide variety of print and online outlets. He’s the author of the book Hot…

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Steve is a veteran writer, reporter, editor and communications specialist whose work has appeared in a wide variety of print and online outlets. He’s the author of the book Hot…

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