Comedy·AGING

A look inside Canada's Celine Dion–themed retirement home

My Heart Will Go On (For A Bit, Anyway) Retirement Community is set to open in Ottawa next fall, and seniors can look forward to a variety of exciting and unique features that simply aren’t offered anywhere else.
(Shutterstock / JP WALLET)

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Inspired by Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville retirement community that recently opened in Daytona Beach, Florida, beloved-ish Canadian chanteuse Celine Dion has announced plans to break ground on what she sees as its Canadian equivalent.

My Heart Will Go On (For A Bit, Anyway) Retirement Community is set to open in Ottawa next fall, and seniors can look forward to a variety of exciting and unique features that simply aren't offered anywhere else.

"The entire residence is powered by love," explains lead electrical engineer Grance Philbert. "I have to admit, I've never powered a building that way in my 32 years of doing this type of work. Usually people want solar power, or the traditional grid. So you know, sometimes I'm frightened, but I'm ready to learn," he shares. "About the power of love."

The home will offer group counselling sessions to help seniors face the general concept of mortality with grace. These will be available on Monday nights at the That's The Way It Is Centre.

"As you know, I'm a very, very big fan of the sudden key change," Dion Herself says proudly. "What does that mean for the retirement community? Unfortunately, once a month the residents will be locked out of their rooms. Just temporarily, until we can distribute the new keys to everyone."

"It's very inconvenient, yes, but are we celebrating me properly or not??" she adds. "What's most important here?? Me. I am."

Residents will be woken up each morning by an alarm that can only be described as "excessively alarming": the sound of Celine belting that one note in Because You Loved Me — you know the one, come on. The note will sustain at top volume for half an hour, until every last person in the community is awake and dressed.

Chefs will prepare simple, nutritious meals from the singer's brand of "Celine Cuisine." The centre also features a mini-Vegas complete with a casino, and residents can choose one of two bed options: a tiny replica of the Titanic, or a cozy lifeboat.

"I'm beyond excited to move in next year!" says Randolph Narwhal, 93. "I've been living in this huge house alone for years and I just got to a point where, you know what? I don't want to be all by myself."

"Anymore," he adds.

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About the Author

Sophie Kohn

Writer/Producer

Sophie Kohn is writer and producer with CBC Comedy, a stand-up comedian in Toronto, and a graduate of Second City's Conservatory program.

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