Facing the lowest vacancy rate for private seniors' housing in Ontario, Sudbury city council's planning committee approved a new housing complex in the city's south end Monday night.

The 120-unit building will include a fitness room, spa, and a hairdressing room, developers told council.

But councillors were most convinced by the words "assisted living."

The apartments, to be built off Paris Street, are designed to be where seniors can go after they sell their houses, but before they need to move to a nursing home.

"There's definitely a need for assisted living. Not every senior is to go into a long-term care facility," said Coun. Evelyn Dutrisac.

The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation reports that Greater Sudbury has the lowest vacancy rate for private seniors housing in Ontario, at just under two per cent.

Lisa Brule, the manager of the Southwind Retirement Residence -- which is next door to where the new housing complex will be built -- has seen that first hand.

"We're sitting at 100 per cent full, currently, with a waiting list," Brule said.

City councillors suggested the developers also consider building seniors' housing in other parts of Greater Sudbury, especially in the outlying areas.