Ontario is a city in south-western San Bernardino County, California, 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles and 23 miles west of downtown San Bernardino, the county seat. Located in the western part of the Inland Empire metropolitan area, it lies just east of Los Angeles County and is part of the Greater Los Angeles Area.
The city is home to the Ontario International Airport, which is the 15th busiest airport in the United States by cargo carried. Ontario handles the mass of freight traffic between the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and the rest of the country.
It takes its name from the Ontario Model Colony development established in 1882 by the Canadian engineer George Chaffey and his brothers William Chaffey and Charles Chaffey. They named the settlement after their home province of Ontario.
In the years following Ontario's founding, the economy was driven by its reputation as a health resort. Shortly thereafter, citrus farmers began taking advantage of Ontario's rocky soil to plant lemon and orange groves. Agricultural opportunities also attracted vintners and olive growers. The Graber Olive House, which continues to produce olives, is a city historical landmark and one of the oldest institutions in Ontario. Dairy farming is also prevalent, as it continues to be in neighbouring Chino. Much of southern Ontario still contains dairy farms and other agricultural farms. However, the area is currently under planning to be developed into a mixed-use area of residential homes, industrial and business parks, and town centres, collectively known as the New Model Colony.
A major pre-war industry was the city's General Electric plant that produced clothing irons. During and after World War II, Ontario experienced a housing boom common to many suburbs. The expansion of the Southern California defence industry attracted many settlers to the city. With California's aerospace industry concentrated in Los Angeles and the Bay Area, the Ontario International Airport was used as a pilot training centre. Today, Ontario still has a manufacturing industry, the most notable of which are Maglite, which produces flashlights there. Today Ontario's economy is dominated by service industries and warehousing. Major distribution centres are operated by companies such as AutoZone, Cardinal Health, MBM, Genuine Parts/NAPA, and Nordstrom.
Ontario is also home to Niagara Bottling, The Icee Company, clothing companies Famous Stars and Straps and Shiekh Shoes, Scripto U.S.A., and to Phoenix Motorcars, who employs over 150 employees in Ontario.
Among the top employers in the city are: Ontario International Airport; Safariland; Sam's Club Distribution; Securitas; Target Distribution; United Parcel Service (UPS).
Tourism The Greater Ontario Convention and Visitors Bureau implemented a tourism marketing district and adopted an aggressive five-year strategic plan focusing on marketing initiatives to bring visitors to the region, build brand and destination awareness while enhancing the local economy.
Ontario has a population of over 185,010 people. Ontario also forms part of the wider Inland Empire (Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario) metropolitan area which has a population of over 4,224,851 people. Ontario is the #434 hipster city in the world, with a hipster score of 1.1053 according to the Hipster Index which evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to the number of vegan eateries, coffee shops, tattoo studios, vintage boutiques, and record stores per 100,000 city residents.
Ontario is sister cities with: Brockville, Ontario, Canada • Guamúchil, Sinaloa, Mexico • Mocorito, Sinaloa, Mexico • Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico • Winterthur, Canton of Zürich, Switzerland.