What Is Ontario, California Known For?

What Is Ontario, California Known For?

After hearing the name “Ontario,” many people immediately think of the Canadian province; however, in the southwestern part of San Bernardino County, the beautiful city of Ontario, California, is known locally as the “gateway to Southern California.” With its deep history, well-loved attractions, and abundance of natural parks, Ontario has been revered as one of Southern California’s more family-friendly areas. Although mostly known for its tie to citrus production, the true beauty and benefits of the city go beyond agriculture, offering endless opportunities for family fun and lasting memories to tourists and residents alike.

History of the Area

First discovered by Spanish explorers in the late 1700s, the area around Ontario has been used for settlements and outposts for decades. From there, various mission trips and territory claims were made on the area, making it, by default, a part of the San Bernardino territory. After California was secularized in the early 1800s, the land containing modern-day Ontario was divided and priced for sale. Between 1881 and 1887, the city of Ontario was laid out and developed by brothers George Chaffey, William Chaffey, and Charles Chaffey. After purchasing the land, the Chaffey brothers chose to name the city after their home province in Canada, solidifying the name of Ontario.

Throughout the years, farmers began to settle and develop the land around the city, creating an agricultural-based economy in the area that relied on citrus and olive production. One of the most lucrative crops to come out of Ontario has been citrus fruits, especially those produced by Sunkist. Since its founding in 1893, under the name “Southern California Fruit Exchange,” Sunkist has had a strong presence in the region. Additionally, the city of Ontario has an international airport, providing upwards of 9,000 jobs to the surrounding area.

Benefits of Living in Ontario, California

Conveniently located close to Anaheim and Los Angeles, getting to the attractions around Ontario can be a major selling point for those looking to move into the area; however, the city’s benefits to residents go far beyond accessibility to other cities. Some of the biggest benefits and positives to life in Ontario include:

  • Safety: According to the 2021 Resident Satisfaction Survey by the City of Ontario, over 60% of residents said they feel very safe in their neighborhoods. On top of low violent crime rates, the Ontario police force has been committed to combating crimes, setting up services like DUI checkpoints to promote public safety.
  • Rich History: As mentioned previously, the history of the region spans centuries. From the early ages of exploration to the founding of some of the region’s most lucrative businesses, Ontario’s culture and overall historical lineage help make it a wonderful place to live.
  • Temperate Climate: Southern California is known for its gorgeous, year-round warm weather, and Ontario is no different. The climate in the region is perfectly suited for growing citrus. Warm summers and mild winters create the perfect location for those looking to escape the snow and the cold.
  • Transportation Benefits: According to residents, Ontario has reasonable commute times and is accessible by bike, car, and public transportation. On average, drivers typically take about 30 minutes to commute to their destinations within the city.
  • Cultural Outlets: For recreation within city limits, those interested in the arts can take a tour of The Ontario Museum of History and Art. Ontario is also home to Southern California’s largest shopping mall, The Ontario Mills Mall.

Although not at the forefront of bustling Southern California life, Ontario is a hidden gem in the region, providing a multitude of opportunities for residents and tourists alike. From the makeup of the land itself to the lively city feeling brought by years of development and infrastructure, Ontario is a lovely destination in Southern California.


Q: Why is Ontario, California called “Ontario?”

A: Before the land was officially purchased, Ontario was considered a part of the larger San Antonio Area. In 1881, Ontario was purchased and named by Canadian engineers, the Chaffey brothers, who planned to develop the land into a city. They named the town after their home province in Canada.

Q: How old is the city of Ontario, California?

A: Although it was originally discovered in the late 1700s by Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza, Ontario was not fully developed until around 1887. During that time, the land where modern-day Ontario is established was used as an outpost during the San Gabriel mission, which was part of Spain’s mission drive across California. After its final development, the city of Ontario was used as a “model colony” by the Chaffey brothers for their future developments in Australia.

Q: How much is the cost of living in Ontario, CA?

A: Nationwide, California’s overall cost of living makes it the third most expensive state to live in out of all 50 states; however, Ontario’s cost of living is significantly less expensive than California as a whole, amounting to only slightly higher than the national average, making it an affordable option for both families and singles alike.

Q: Is Ontario, California a good city to live in?

A: With a low crime rate, affordable cost of living, and access to some of California’s biggest attractions, Ontario is the perfect city for all. Year-round, the climate of Ontario is temperate, perfect for those looking to stay in a more climate-controlled area. Overall, Ontario is an excellent fit for those looking to move to a more laid-back, family-friendly part of California.

Finding Legal Help in Ontario, California

Despite its many benefits, the possibility of facing legal troubles in Ontario is inevitable. Accidents happen, and getting back on track after a criminal conviction or arrest is the best way to put these mistakes behind you. At the Law Office of Daniel P. Flores, our legal team can help you find legal representation for a myriad of charges, specializing in defense services for driving while under the influence (DUI) charges. For more information on our firm, including a complete list of our practice areas, visit our website and contact us today.

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