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Ontario California

The city of Ontario is found in the South western San Bernardino County in California. It lies to the east of Los Angeles area. The 2010 census indicates that the city is the county’s 4th most populous area with a population of 158,007.

The City takes its name from the Ontario Model Colony development which cropped up in 1882. It was established by a Canadian engineer George Chaffey and his brothers William Chaffey. They named it after their home province.

City’s History

The area where the city lies was part of the land that was used for hunting and foraging by the semi-nomadic Native Americans known as the Tongva Serrano. They were known for their expertise in roaming the San Bernardino Mountains.

Ontario, in its early days, mainly attracted farmers and ailing Easterners who were looking for a drier climate. Due to this, agriculture played a key role in its development hence the many street names associated with it.


During its founding, the area was known to be a health resort. After that, citrus farmers begun exploiting the rocky soil to plant lemon and orange gloves. This also attracted vintners and olive growers to the area.

The Graber Olive House, still producing olives, is very well known historically, and is one of the oldest business in the town.

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Dairy farming is also an economic activity that is well known in the area. They are mostly located in the southern part of Ontario. However, a new model colony is currently in the works. It will consist of mixed use area of residential homes, business parks, and town centers.

One of the most significant pre-war industry was the General Electric plant that was responsible for clothing irons. The Maglite is the most notable manufacturing plant in the area currently. It produces flashlights.

Due to the evolving nature of business, the manufacturing industries have waned in the area. In their places, the economy has been dominated by service industries and warehousing. Companies such as MBM, AutoZone, Cardinal Health, and Nordstrom have taken over.


The city is equipped with the Citizens Business Bank Arena. This is a versatile arena.  It is an 11,000-seat all-purpose arena, the largest enclosed arena in the Inland Empire. Over 125 events are held yearly. It features sporting competitions, concerts, and family shows.

The city is home to the Ontario International airport. It is the 15th busiest airport in the whole of the United States. By cargo transported. It is responsible for the mass cargo between the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles and the rest of the nation.


The weather of Ontario is influenced by the semi-arid conditions. There are very hot summers and warm winters. Santa Ana Winds hit the area regularly in autumn and winter. Excesses extend from 114 °F (46 °C) down to 25 °F (−4 °C). According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Ontario has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate.


The racial makeup of Ontario was 83,683 (51.0%) White (18.2% Non-Hispanic White), 10,561 (6.4%) African American, 1,686 (1.0%) Native American, 8,453 (5.2%) Asian, 514 (0.3%) Pacific Islander, 51,373 (31.3%) from other races, and 7,654 (4.7%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 113,085 persons (69.0%).


Ontario has 25 public elementary schools, six public middle schools, and five public high schools. They are all under the combined oversight of four school districts. There are also numerous private schools across the city as well as two private military schools. Ontario also has nine trade schools. The University Of La Verne College Of Law is based here. National University, Argosy University, San Joaquin Valley College and Chapman University have a satellite campus near the Ontario Mills mall.

Did you know?

Ontario has a franchise of The Dinner Detective, America’s biggest Interactive Murder Mystery Dinner Show.

The Ontario Mills mall was home to the last Kenny Rogers Roasters operating within the United States. However, it closed its doors on December 31, 2011.