Senior Citizens: Choose a Municipality that Promotes an Active Lifestyle!

Senior Citizens: Choose a Municipality that Promotes an Active Lifestyle!

Do you know about MADAs? The acronym stands for “Municipalités Amis Des Aînés,” a group of senior friendly (or age-friendly) towns focused on creating an age-inclusive society. If you are searching for a great place to retire to, these communities might be the perfect fit.

In 2023, people aged 65 and over will make up more than one quarter of Quebec’s population (27% specifically). It is therefore natural to take an interest in approaches that ensure people maintain a good quality of life as they get older.

The Importance of MADA Municipalities in Quebec

Opportunities for participating in community life are increased in a MADA municipality. Seniors are therefore far more rooted to their place of residence and enjoy a more active lifestyle. The elderly are an asset to society: their knowledge, experience and expertise can be beneficial in all aspects of social life. The program aims to achieve five objectives:

1)    Abolish agism to reduce barriers to an active lifestyle

2)    Adapt municipal services, buildings, and policies to an elderly clientele’s specific needs

3)    Act collaboratively in multiple simultaneous intervention sectors

4)    Foster seniors’ community engagement by including them during the project planning phase as integral stakeholders

5)    Have a shared vision for the entire population

The MADA program is based on the World Health Organization’s pillars of active aging: participation, health, and security.

What Constitutes a MADA Municipality?

There are various MADA participating cities and municipalities all over Quebec: Magog, Amos, Baie-St-Paul and Trois-Rivières, for example. Many others like Montréal and Sherbrooke are in the process of officially obtaining the MADA designation. But what distinguishes these municipalities? They act on nine strategic areas of intervention:

1)    Living environment (e.g., update municipal bylaws on bigenerational residences)

2)    Mobility (e.g., set a fixed transit rate for seniors)

3)    Respect and social inclusiveness (e.g., organize an agism awareness campaign)

4)    Recreation (e.g., facilitate access to sports, community, and cultural activities with a reduced pass rate)

5)    Communication and information (e.g., produce written documents in larger easy-to-read fonts)

6)    Health and social services (e.g., build strong partnerships to provide home-based care)

7)    Security (both physical and emotional to combat elder abuse, in addition to eliminating real obstacles to their mobility)

8)    Social engagement (e.g., establish mentorship and knowledge transfer programs between seniors and younger generations)

9)    Buildings and outdoor spaces (e.g., improve physical access to public areas and support the development of complete neighbourhoods) 

Eligible proposals include small construction, improvement, or expansion projects for infrastructure used by seniors. For example, projects comprising access ramps to public edifices, pedestrian paths with benches for resting, upgrades to community centres and libraries may receive a grant through this program. 

For such projects, funding can be obtained through the Programme d’infrastructures Municipalité pour les aînés (PRIMA). These two-part grants support the development of policies and action plans, as well as their implementation.


Of course, MADA participating cities and municipalities are not the only ones offering a good quality of life to seniors. Quebec is full of towns focused on promoting active aging. To find a residence suited to your active retirement needs, contact a RE/MAX agent. They can help you determine your ideal location.

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