The town of Ontario, Oregon is located in Malheur County, about 298 miles east of Portland. The town was founded on June 11, 1883, and was named for the province of Ontario, Canada. Its city center is laid out in a block pattern that follows the Union Pacific Railroad. North and South Oregon Street and East and West Idaho Avenue divide the town’s address system. Ontario is located near numerous outdoor activities. Read on to learn more about this tiny town and what makes it special.
In May of this year, the city welcomed a single-employee nonprofit, the Four Rivers Welcome Center, which provides translation services and help with job applications and interviews. The group also organizes recreation activities for newcomers. The grant funded the organization’s lobby space and the Four Rivers Welcome Center, both of which serve those without health insurance. For a number of years, the city’s residents faced the same problem, and the town responded by building a community center in their honor.
The Town of Ontario has many options for hotels. In the city, the Clarion Ontario, a full-service hotel, is a great option for travelers. This historic landmark features 96 guest rooms and five banquet rooms. In addition to the Oregon Trail, Clarion offers expanded amenities, including an indoor whirlpool and an outdoor heated pool. Those with children can take advantage of the hotel’s Kids’ Menu, free breakfast, and Choice Privileges, which give travelers access to perks like free dinners for kids and late-night spa sessions.
Guests can spend the day at the Ontario State Recreation Site, a beautiful day-use park located on the west bank of the historic Snake River. It offers modern restrooms and green grass, allowing guests to stay comfortably while watching the local wildlife. The area is home to several species of birds, including the elusive black-footed ferret. It also offers an impressive array of outdoor activities, including camping and hiking. You can also rent a boat and kayak.
On the west side of the Oregon-Idaho border, Ontario is the largest city in Malheur County and is home to one of Oregon’s largest marijuana dispensaries. According to the U.S. Census, the population of Ontario is 54.5 percent non-Latinx white and 41.7 percent Latinx. There are 4.4 percent Latinx and 0.7 percent African-American residents in the city. A majority of residents identify as non-Latinx white and 65 percent of Oregonians do.
The town grew rapidly with the arrival of the Oregon Short Line Railroad in 1884. The railroad brought passenger and freight services to the town. As soon as the railroad reached Ontario, stock from Eastern Oregon cattle ranches began to arrive at the stockyard. The cattle were transshipped to various markets throughout the Pacific Northwest. Soon, Ontario was the largest stockyard in the west. Ontario was also home to the Nevada Ditch, which aided the growing agricultural industry. Today, geothermal energy is still used to run several facilities in Ontario.
The history of the town of Ontario is fascinating. The Oregon Trail was a route for travelers seeking a better life in the west. Travelers sought a place where they could experience a temperate climate and abundant land. They also found that Ontario was free of many common diseases found in the eastern half of the country. Its perfect weather and lack of disease prompted many settlers to settle here, and the first newspaper, the Atlas, came along in 1883. It was followed by the Malheur Gazette and Argus, both of which have been published daily since 1900.