Some retirees in small towns in eastern Ontario are making the move to apartment living, but a growth in rural condominiums is giving those that can afford it the option of downsizing and staying in their communities.

Park View Homes held its opening on Saturday for Cinnamon Suites in Carleton Place, Ont., a collection of apartments with prices ranging from $222,900 — for a 700-square-foot one-bedroom unit — to $334,900 for an 1,110-square-foot three-bedroom unit.

Retired nurse Mimi Davis used to live in a house just outside Carleton Place and she was one of the first to move in Saturday.

"There's the benefits of the country, in terms of it's near the river and there's trees, and then there's the benefits of the city with lots of stores," said Davis.

It's also a more appealing option for people who don't want to, or can no longer take care of their house.

"I'm very, very happy," said Davis. "Having been in the country, I was starting to feel more and more isolated. And now it's fun having people walk by and smile at me."

Apartments allow people to move but keep families close

Real-estate agent Brenda MacDonald-Rowe said low-rise condominium apartment buildings are sweeping into many small towns and they are an appealing option for people eager to downsize from a bigger home but not willing to move to the big city.

"They want to have their friends here, they want to go to their dart club or their bridge game and keep their friends or their families. Most of them have families close by," said MacDonald-Rowe.

Park View Homes is also selling condo units in Kemptville, Ont., where prices are comparable to the Carleton Place condominiums, and also in Smiths Falls, Ont., where the prices are somewhat lower.

In Almonte, Ont, new condos are also being sold at 7 Mill St. with prices starting at $219,900. Realtor Jennifer Kelly said bringing condo living to the country gives people a chance at lower prices while still offering the same services of a downtown condominium.

The average selling price for a condominium in Ottawa in August was $257,494, according to the latest Ottawa Real Estate Board's MLS Statistics.