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Strategic Advantages

Why Ontario?

Strategic Advantages

Founded in 1882, Ontario thrived as an agricultural haven for citrus growers, but today the city is a hub of both commerce and community.

Ontario is a city where companies want to do business and a community where people want to live, work and play. Although our roots are firmly planted in agriculture and industry, the city of 185,000 is a growing community where residents enjoy world-class shopping, dining, lodging and entertainment, as well as award-winning wineries, all while basking in California’s signature sunshine.

Gateway to California & North America 

Just 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, the city of Ontario is ideally situated as Southern California’s gateway to the West, to the entire United States and to the whole of North America. Ontario has all the infrastructure and amenities of Los Angeles – easy access to Los Angeles ports, interstates, railroads and the Ontario International Airport – without the expense and hassle of Los Angeles.


San Bernardino County has 2 million residents, and Ontario is the county’s fourth-largest city. With more than 182,000 residents today, Ontario’s population is set to double in the next few decades. Many communities have lost residents during the Great Recession. Not Ontario. The city’s population has grown nearly 3 percent in the past three years, according to U.S. Census data.


Ontario’s Mayor and City Council, as well as city officials and employees, continually search for ways to improve the quality of life, invest in infrastructure and increase opportunities, both for individuals and for businesses. Ontario’s visionary leadership and talented staff continually search for ways to develop the community, attract new businesses to the area, increase tourism amenities and improve the City's infrastructure. As the City grows, Ontario's leadership continues to make Ontario the best place to live, work, play and visit.


Ontario’s unparalleled workforce provides companies with a pool of employees able to do anything, whether that’s operating a forklift or heading up an international corporation. With a population that is projected to double by 2035, Ontario’s labor pool of talented and trained workers – from warehouse personnel to middle management to corporate executives – is primed to grow. Ontario’s skilled workforce is constantly being replenished, and, unlike many cities, Ontario’s unemployment rate has steadily declined in recent years.

Within 15 miles of Ontario, residents – and employees – can further their education at any number of trade schools, colleges and universities. Ontario has nine trade schools that offer technical and vocational college courses, or residents can earn a college degree – from an associate degree up to a doctorate – at Chaffey College, the University of La Verne College of Law, National University, American Career College, University of Phoenix, Brandman University and others. California State University’s San Bernardino campus is also about 25 miles east of Ontario.

Manufacturing & Distribution

With more than 110 million square feet of industrial, manufacturing and distribution space, Ontario is the Inland Empire’s hub of industry – a hub that is fed by the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. 

Cost of doing business

Dollar for dollar, the City of Ontario offers companies a lower cost of doing business – and their employees a lower cost of living. The cost per square foot of Ontario’s commercial, retail, office and industrial space is much lower in comparison to our coastal neighbors. The median sale price of industrial space in Los Angeles is $115 per square foot compared with $71 in Ontario. The median sales price of commercial office space in Los Angeles is $182 per square foot compared with $99 per square foot in Ontario.

As of August 2013, the median sales price of homes in Ontario was $262,000 – vastly more affordable than $396,000 in Long Beach, $494,000 in Los Angeles and $994,000 in Santa Monica.


With three major interstates, two railroads and the Ontario International Airport, the City of Ontario offers direct access throughout Southern California and across the continental United States. 

Ontario International Airport (ONT) is the fastest growing airport in the United States, according to Global Traveler, a leading publication for frequent fliers. ONT is a full-service airport which, before the coronavirus pandemic, offered nonstop commercial jet service to 26 major airports in the U.S., Mexico and Taiwan. There are by eleven air carriers, including Alaska, American, Avianca, China Airlines, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, jetBlue, Southwest, United and Volaris. Plans are in place to add a third terminal as traffic continues to increase. United Parcel Service (UPS) and FedEx have their Hubs located at the Airport, in addition to the Amazon facility, making Ontario one of the top United States markets for outbound cargo shipments.

The mass of freight transport – via both rail and road – run through the City of Ontario.  Three major interstates crisscross the City and the surrounding area: Interstate-15 from San Diego to Las Vegas and beyond; Interstate-10 from west coast to east coast; as well as State Route 60 for easy regional access. Amtrak offers passenger rail service through the City, and BNSF and Union Pacific both provide freight rail through the City.

Investment in Goods and Services

The City continually invests in capital improvement projects to encourage the flow of goods and services and preserve the community’s visual and structural integrity. Ontario maintains more than 1,200 miles of paved roads in the city and constantly repairs and rehabilitates sidewalks, streetlights, storm drains, utilities, curbs, gutters, ramps and other public infrastructure.

Ontario Mills and Convention Center

The Ontario Convention Center has 225,000 square feet of flexible meeting and exhibit space, including a 70,000-square-foot Exhibit Hall and a 20,000-square-foot Ballroom. The state-of-the-art center also offers the latest in audiovisual technology as well as Wi-Fi, Internet, DS3, VOIP and video conferencing. Several hotels surround the convention center, which is only a 10-minute drive to the Ontario International Airport or a 10-minute drive to Ontario Mills, California’s largest indoor outlet and value retail shopping destination.

Ontario Mills, California's largest outlet and value retail shopping destination and is home to more than 200 stores, boasting some of the biggest names in men's, women's and children's apparel, jewelry, sporting goods, footwear and more. Stores include Coach Factory Store, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, Michael Kors, Restoration Hardware Outlet, The North Face, Nordstrom Rack, H&M, Forever 21, Old Navy, Tommy Hilfiger Company Store, Abercrombie & Fitch Outlet, Nike Factory Store and much more. Enjoy a meal at restaurants such as Market Broiler, Rainforest Cafe, Dave & Buster’s, Johnny Rockets and Blaze Pizza, catch a movie at AMC 30 Theatres or revel in a show at the Improv Comedy Club & Dinner Theatre. 

Ontario is looking to the future, and our leaders and our residents know that the future of any city lies in its healthy economy and healthy sense of community. As Southern California’s gateway, Ontario is the ideal place for companies to do business and the ideal place for residents to live, work, play.