Ontario, California facts for kids

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Ontario, California
City
City of Ontario
The Ontario Convention Center in September 2006.
The Ontario Convention Center in September 2006.
Motto: Southern California's Next Urban Center
Location in San Bernardino County in the state of California
Location in San Bernardino County in the state of California
Country  United States of America
State  California
County Flag of San Bernardino County, California.png San Bernardino
Incorporated December 10, 1891
Named for Ontario in Canada
Area
 • Total 50.006 sq mi (129.515 km2)
 • Land 49.941 sq mi (129.345 km2)
 • Water 0.065 sq mi (0.170 km2)  0.13%
Elevation 1,004 ft (306 m)
Population (January 2013)
 • Total 166,866
 • Estimate (2013) 167,500
 • Rank 4th in San Bernardino County
29th in California
144th in the United States
 • Density 3,336.92/sq mi (1,288.391/km2)
Time zone Pacific (UTC−8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC−7)
ZIP codes 91758, 91761, 91762, 91764
Area code 909
FIPS code 06-53896
GNIS feature IDs 1652764, 2411323
Website www.ontarioca.gov

Ontario is a city located in southwestern San Bernardino County, California, United States, 35 miles (56 km) east of downtown Los Angeles. Located in the western part of the Inland Empire region, it lies just east of the Los Angeles county line and is part of the Greater Los Angeles Area. As of the 2010 Census, the city had a population of 163,924, up from 158,007 at the 2000 census, making it the county's fourth most populous city after San Bernardino, Fontana, and Rancho Cucamonga.

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 is also the home of Ontario Mills and former home of the Ontario Motor Speedway.

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.

History

Interior of citrus packing house, Ontario, ca.1905 (CHS-1677)
Interior of citrus packing house in Ontario, 1905
GraberOliveHouseVatRoom
The olive vat room at Graber Olive House in Ontario, California. In 1894, two years after planting olive trees in Ontario, C. C. Graber began selling vat cured olives from the pictured vat room in vats similar to the ones pictured. Graber Olive House is the oldest operating olive packer in the United States.

The area that is now Ontario was part of the lands used for hunting and foraging by the semi-nomadic Tongva Serrano (Gabrieleño) Native Americans, who were known to roam as far south as the western San Bernardino Mountains. At the time of Mexican and later of American settlement, active Native American settlements were scattered across the entire valley. Remains of a Serrano village were discovered in the neighboring foothills of the present-day city of Claremont.

Juan Bautista de Anza friend of the land owner of Rancho Cucamonga [located at Township 1 South Range 7 West], Tiburcio Tapia, leaving him the assistance of the Cahuilla Indians from Anza, whom were under no control of any Spanish establishments. Other than the street and middle school named after De Anza, the only other artifact representing this expedition of De Anza and the Cahuilla tribe is a structure (still standing at 1007 East Main Street in the city's current Quiet Home Acquisition Project Area) and is not currently recognized for its significance. Following the 1819 establishment of San Bernardino Asistencia, which may have served as an outpost of the San Gabriel mission, it became part of a large, vaguely identified area called "San Antonio".

In 1826, Jedediah Smith passed through what is now Upland on the first overland journey to the West coast of North America via the National Old Trails Road (present-day Foothill Blvd).

The 1834 secularization of California land holdings resulted in the land's transferral to private hands. In 1881, the Chaffey brothers, George and William, purchased the land (which at that time also included the present-day city of Upland) and the water rights to it. They engineered a drainage system channeling water from the foothills of Mount San Antonio (colloquially known as "Mount Baldy") down to the flatter lands below that performed the dual functions of allowing farmers to water their crops and preventing the floods that periodically afflict them. They also created the main thoroughfare of Euclid Avenue (California Highway 83), with its distinctive wide lanes and grassy median. The new "Model Colony" (called so because it offered the perfect balance between agriculture and the urban comforts of schools, churches, and commerce) was originally conceived as a dry town, early deeds containing clauses forbidding the manufacture or sale of alcoholic beverages within the town. The two named the town "Ontario" in honor of the province of Ontario in Canada, where they were born.

Ontario attracted farmers (primarily citrus) and ailing Easterners seeking a drier climate. To impress visitors and potential settlers with the "abundance" of water in Ontario, a fountain was placed at the Southern Pacific railway station. It was turned on when passenger trains were approaching and frugally turned off again after their departure. The original "Chaffey fountain", a simple spigot surrounded by a ring of white stones, was later replaced by the more ornate "Frankish Fountain", an Art Nouveau creation now located outside the Ontario Museum of History and Art.

Agriculture was vital to the early economy, and many street names recall this legacy. The Sunkist plant remains as a living vestige of the citrus era. The Chaffey brothers left to found the settlements of Mildura, Australia and Renmark, Australia, which met with varying success. Charles Frankish continued their work at Ontario.

Mining engineer John Tays refined the design of the novel "mule car", used from 1887 for public transportation on Euclid Avenue to 24th Street. At that point, the two mules were loaded onto a platform at the rear of the car and allowed to ride, as gravity propelled the trolley back down the avenue to the downtown Ontario terminus. Soon replaced by an electric streetcar, the mule car is commemorated by a replica in an enclosure south of C Street on the Euclid Avenue median.

Ontario was incorporated as a city in 1891, and North Ontario broke away in 1906, calling itself Upland. Ontario grew at an astronomical rate, increasing 10 times in the next half a century. The population of 20,000 in the 1960s again grew 10 times more by the year 2007. Ontario was viewed as an "Iowa under Palm trees", with a solid Midwestern/Mid-American foundation, but it had a large German and Swiss community. Tens of thousands of European immigrants came to work in agriculture, and in the early 1900s the first Filipinos and Japanese farm laborers arrived, later to display nursery ownership skills.

Ontario has over two centuries of Hispanic residents, starting from the Californio period of Spanish colonial and Mexican rule in the 1840s. However, the first wave of Mexican settlers was in the 1880s brought as workers in the railroad industry (see traquero) and another wave from the Mexican Revolution of the 1910s. Mexican Americans resided in the city's poorer central side facing State Route 60 and Chino.

Arts & Culture

The Granada
The Granada Theatre. Circa 1940.

Built in 1925, The Granada Theatre was leased[why?] to West Coast Junior Theater. By the 1940s, the theater had become part of the Fox West Coast Theater chain. The Granada Theatre was designed by noted[opinion] architect L.A. Smith.

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

Ontario is also the home to the second largest consumer Quilt Show in the United States, Road to California. The quilt show books over 2,400 room nights and has a recorded attendance of over 40,000 attendees.

Traditions

Since 1959, Ontario has placed three-dimensional nativity scenes from the life of Jesus on the median of Euclid Avenue during the Christmas season. The scenes, featuring statues by the sculptor Rudolph Vargas, were challenged in 1998 as a violation of church-state separation under the California Constitution by atheist resident Patrick Greene, but the dispute was resolved when private organizations began funding the storage and labor involved in the set-up and maintenance of the scenery in its entirety.

As means to support the nativity scenes the Ontario Chamber of Commerce started "Christmas on Euclid". This is a craft fair extravaganza is held the first Saturday in December. High end artist/merchants come to sell their creations. Euclid Avenue is closed to traffic from "G" street to Holt for area residents to enjoy shopping for Christmas present and having a delicious meal. In 2009 the Ontario Kiwanis took over management of the event.

The Christmas on Euclid Experience is a non-profit organization. The Greater Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau produce the event annually.

The All-States Picnic, an Independence Day celebration, began in 1939 to recognize the varied origins of the city's residents. Picnic tables lined the median of Euclid Avenue from Hawthorne to E Street, with signs for each of the country's 48 states. The picnic was suspended during World War II, but when it resumed in 1948, it attracted 120,000 people. A 1941 Ripley's Believe It or Not! cartoon listed Ontario's picnic table as the "world's longest". As native Californians came to outnumber the out-of-state-born, the celebration waned in popularity until it was discontinued in 1981. It was revived in 1991 as a celebration of civic pride.

For over 50 years the first Saturday in June the Ontario Kiwanis and the Ontario Rotary partner for the annual "Pancake Breakfast and Car Show". Over 10,000 inland empire residents come to eat delicious pancakes and view the over 400 cars that come to show off their gorgeous paint jobs and hope appreciate all the hard work they put into the cars.

Geography

Ontario is located at 34°3' North, 117°38' West (34.05, −117.63).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 50.0 square miles (129 km2). Of that, 49.9 square miles (129 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) is water. The total area is 0.13% water.

Climate

The climate of Ontario is influenced by semi-arid conditions, with very hot summers and warm winters. Santa Ana Winds hit the area frequently in autumn and winter. Extremes range 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, abbreviated "Csa" on climate maps.

Climate data for Ontario International Airport, California (1981-2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 90
(32.2)
89
(31.7)
94
(34.4)
101
(38.3)
103
(39.4)
108
(42.2)
114
(45.6)
109
(42.8)
112
(44.4)
107
(41.7)
98
(36.7)
86
(30)
114
(45.6)
Average high °F (°C) 65.2
(18.44)
65.8
(18.78)
69.9
(21.06)
74.0
(23.33)
78.9
(26.06)
85.5
(29.72)
92.2
(33.44)
93.6
(34.22)
89.1
(31.72)
80.6
(27)
72.7
(22.61)
65.6
(18.67)
77.76
(25.421)
Average low °F (°C) 43.8
(6.56)
45.3
(7.39)
47.2
(8.44)
50.5
(10.28)
55.5
(13.06)
59.0
(15)
63.3
(17.39)
64.7
(18.17)
62.6
(17)
55.2
(12.89)
47.0
(8.33)
42.7
(5.94)
53.07
(11.704)
Record low °F (°C) 25
(-3.9)
31
(-0.6)
33
(0.6)
33
(0.6)
42
(5.6)
46
(7.8)
56
(13.3)
56
(13.3)
51
(10.6)
43
(6.1)
32
(0)
28
(-2.2)
25
(-3.9)
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.31
(84.1)
3.39
(86.1)
2.32
(58.9)
0.94
(23.9)
.30
(8)
.12
(3)
.09
(2.3)
.13
(3.3)
.27
(6.9)
.64
(16.3)
1.21
(30.7)
2.32
(58.9)
15.04
(382)
Source: NOAA

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 683
1900 722 5.7%
1910 4,274 492.0%
1920 7,280 70.3%
1930 13,583 86.6%
1940 14,197 4.5%
1950 22,872 61.1%
1960 46,617 103.8%
1970 64,118 37.5%
1980 88,820 38.5%
1990 133,179 49.9%
2000 158,007 18.6%
2010 163,924 3.7%
Est. 2015 171,214 4.4%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010

The 2010 United States Census reported that Ontario had a population of 163,924. The population density was 3,278.1 people per square mile (1,265.7/km²). 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%).

The Census reported that 163,166 people (99.5% of the population) lived in households, 411 (0.3%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 347 (0.2%) were institutionalized.

There were 44,931 households, out of which 23,076 (51.4%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 23,789 (52.9%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 7,916 (17.6%) had a female householder with no husband present, 3,890 (8.7%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 3,470 (7.7%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 384 (0.9%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 6,741 households (15.0%) were made up of individuals and 2,101 (4.7%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.63. There were 35,595 families (79.2% of all households); the average family size was 3.98.

The population was spread out with 49,443 people (30.2%) under the age of 18, 19,296 people (11.8%) aged 18 to 24, 49,428 people (30.2%) aged 25 to 44, 34,703 people (21.2%) aged 45 to 64, and 11,054 people (6.7%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29.9 years. For every 100 females there were 99.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.8 males.

There were 47,449 housing units at an average density of 948.9 per square mile (366.4/km²), of which 24,832 (55.3%) were owner-occupied, and 20,099 (44.7%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.0%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.8%. 90,864 people (55.4% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 72,302 people (44.1%) lived in rental housing units.

During 2009–2013, Ontario had a median household income of $54,249, with 18.1% of the population living below the federal poverty line.

2000

As of the census of 2000, there were 158,007 people, 43,525 households, and 34,689 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,173.9 inhabitants per square mile (1,225.5/km²). There were 45,182 housing units at an average density of 907.6 per square mile (350.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 47.8% White, 7.5% African American, 1.1% Native American, 3.9% Asian, 0.4% Pacific Islander, 34.1% from other races and 5.3% were from two or more races. 59.9% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 43,525 households out of which 49.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.9% were married couples living together, 15.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.3% were non-families. 15.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.6 and the average family size was 4.0.

In the city, the population was spread out with 34.4% under the age of 18, 11.2% from 18 to 24, 32.4% from 25 to 44, 16.1% from 45 to 64, and 5.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 100.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $42,452, and the median income for a family was $44,031. Males had a median income of $31,664 versus $26,069 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,244. 15.5% of the population and 12.2% of families were below the poverty line. 19.1% of those under the age of 18 and 7.6% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

Tourism

The Ontario Mills mall was home to the last Kenny Rogers Roasters operating within the United States. It closed December 31, 2011.

The Greater Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization for the cities of Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga, California to visitors nationally and internationally. With support from the hospitality industry, the Greater Ontario Convention & 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.

Sister cities

Ontario has five sister cities around the world. They are:

  • Canada Brockville, Ontario, Canada (since 1977)
  • Mexico Guamúchil, Sinaloa, Mexico (since 1982)
  • Mexico Mocorito, Sinaloa, Mexico (since 1982)
  • Mexico Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico (since 1988)
  • Switzerland Winterthur, Switzerland

Images for kids


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