The town of Ontario is located at river mile 373 along the Snake River, on the border of Oregon and Idaho. It is easily accessible from U.S. Route 30 and Interstate 84, and its exits are near the Union Pacific Railroad. The city is characterized by a simple, block-pattern layout, with streets named Oregon Street and Idaho Avenue. A daily newspaper, the Argus Observer, is published in Ontario.
The Japanese community in Ontario is the largest per capita in Oregon, and the city has a sister-city relationship with Osakasayama, Japan. It is also home to a growing Latinx population, with 1,173 residents of Latinx descent during the 2010 census. The city’s school district has over 67 percent Latinx students. The town’s diversity is celebrated with annual festivals and celebrations. Listed below are some of the highlights of a trip to Ontario, Oregon.
The arts are prevalent in the city of Ontario. Visitors can enjoy the Four Rivers Cultural Center, named for four rivers that flow through the western Treasure Valley. The museum exhibits a rich cultural heritage and includes a theater, cafe, gift shop, and conference center. The atmosphere of the museum and the community reflect the pioneer spirit that made this area famous. The area also features numerous festivals and events, such as the annual Ontario Jazz Festival. A variety of art galleries are located within the city, making it easy to find a cultural experience that’s right for you.
In 1903, Ontario started a salmon hatchery on Morton Island in the Snake River. Though there was a notable salmon run in 1903, the hatchery soon failed due to the development of eastern Oregon. In the following decades, Ontario continued to grow as a vital shipping and supply hub in the eastern Oregon region. The city’s population has grown steadily each census, and was estimated at 11,645 in the 2020 census. It is located in Malheur County, Oregon, a region known as the Western Treasure Valley.
While agriculture dominates the economy of Ontario, the town is home to numerous businesses. The Four Rivers Cultural Center and Museum is home to the first permanent structure in Malheur County. Built in 1872 to replace a log home, it is designed to be a wayside stop for travelers. It also houses the Rinehart Stone House, a 10,000 square-foot museum of the city’s history. At the center of the cultural center, you can attend a lecture or participate in an arts workshop.
Aside from agriculture, the town’s main industry is the cultivation of potatoes. The Heinz Frozen Food Company processes locally grown potatoes, and employs about a thousand people. The city also has a large manufacturing sector, and the Heinz Frozen Food Company processes over 600 million pounds of potatoes annually. A nearby factory, Ore-Ida, employs about 1,000 people. The town has a population of approximately 1,000 people.