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Ontario, CA (Population: 170,373)

The city of Ontario bears the nickname “The Gateway to Southern California.” The city is located in San Bernadino County and has a population of 170,373. Ontario's name was derived from the Ontario Model Colony, established in 1882 by Canadian engineers George and William Chaffey. The Chaffeys named the settlement after their home province of Ontario, Canada. The Ontario Model Colony was called so because it maintained the ideal balance between agriculture and urban comforts, such as schools, churches, and commerce. The city is currently under a New Model Colony plan to incorporate a mixed-use form of development which will maintain a balance between residential, industrial, and commercial areas.

Ontario is home to the LA/Ontario International Airport, which provides domestic and limited international travel, and the Ontario Mills Mall, the largest shopping mall in Southern California and one of the largest in North America. Since the opening of the mall in 1996, the area where it is located in eastern Ontario has undergone a surge of infrastructural commercial and residential construction. Ontario's economy is dominated by warehousing and the service industries. Manufacturing was once a big business in the city, but that sector has waned over the years.

Points of interest within Ontario include the Graber Olive House, the central manufacturing plant of Graber olives, and of course, the gigantic Ontario Mills shopping mall. If you're looking for a place to eat out, you might consider Porter's Prime Steak House, the romantic Rosa's Italian Restaurant, the popular chain Rainforest Cafe, Spike's Teriyaki Bowl, or Daphne's Greek Cafe. Ontario's location makes for easy access to all of the cultural and recreational opportunities Southern California has to offer. The city's proximity to mountains, beaches, and deserts, as well as Disneyland, Disney's California Adventure, the annual Tournament of Roses Parade, wineries, and historical sites make it an ideal spot to live and visit.