Successful recruitment and retention for population-based longitudinal studies requires understanding facilitators and barriers to participation. This study explored Canadians’ views regarding one such study, the proposed Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA). Focus groups of participants ≥40 years of age were held in six proposed CLSA data collection sites (Halifax, Montreal, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Calgary, and Vancouver) to discuss participating in a long-term study of healthy aging. There was fundamental support for longitudinal research on health and aging. Altruism was a key motivation to participation, and universities were viewed as credible parties to conduct such studies. Participants had few worries about providing biological samples but expressed concern about potential misuse of genetic materials, commercialization of participant data, and privacy issues. These findings have already informed current, and will inform future, work on the CLSA, and will also provide useful information to researchers who undertake other population-based longitudinal studies.