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Renter’s Guide to Ontario, CA
Located in California’s San Bernardino County, Ontario is a city in the Inland Empire metropolitan area of Greater Los Angeles. With a desirable location, close to both the big city and natural sights, this mid-sized city maintains a relatively small town vibe.
Ontario is situated about 38 miles east of downtown LA, which can be reached within an hour on interstate 10, or the San Bernardino Freeway. It’s well-connected, with freeways running north, south, east and west, more or less bordering the city. Interstate 15 runs north to south, and passes through the eastern side of the city, eventually taking you 115 miles south to San Diego.
Ontario has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate, which results in very hot and dry summers, and warm winters. August is typically the hottest month, with average highs of 93.6°F, while January sees average lows of around 43.8°F. With just 15 inches of rainfall a year, the climate is semi-arid, and during the summer months, rain is rare. The wettest time of year is normally between November and March.
Cost of Living in Ontario, CA
Public bus routes in Ontario are provided by Omnitrans, which offer services throughout the San Bernardino Valley. A one-way fare costs $1.75, but you can save money on multiple trips by buying a pass. A day-pass is $5, a 7-day pass $18, and a 31-day pass is $55. Taxis in the city typically start at $2.90, with an additional $3.50 per mile. If you own a private vehicle, you can expect to pay around $3.39 for a gallon of gasoline.
Eating out in Ontario is widely considered more affordable than in downtown LA, with a meal in most inexpensive restaurants costing around $12. Two people eating a 3-course meal in a mid-range restaurant should pay no more than $45, plus around $5 for a beer, or $4 for a coffee.
Monthly utilities for a standard 915 sq. ft apartment should be no more than $150, including water, electricity, HVAC systems, and garbage disposal. To hook your computer up to an internet connection will typically cost around $60 each month.
Average Rent in Ontario, CA
- Ontario, CA Average Rental Price, February 2020 $1,758 /mo
Ontario, CA Apartment Rent Ranges
- > $2,00016%
Ontario, CA Rent Trends
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Living in Ontario, CA
Ontario’s residents enjoy a great location that places them close to mountains, beaches, and sprawling metropolis. Within the city, the population density is far lower than in surrounding areas, and neighborhoods are well spaced out, affording residents privacy. At the same time, a small town vibe runs through the city, with many community initiatives and events in place to encourage people to keep in touch with one another.
For the most part, crime rates are low, and schools generally rate above state averages. Additionally, there’s not much to do in terms of nightlife, and younger residents in particular may begin to feel bored.
Things to Do in Ontario, CA
Nature lovers will be at home in Ontario, and just a short drive outside of town you’ll arrive at the Angeles National Park. The area is home to countless peaks, rock formations, waterfalls, and is crisscrossed with hiking trails. During winter, head to the hills and hit the slopes at iconic ski resorts such as Mt Baldy. Within the city limits, there are also plenty of green spaces, from memorial parks, to golf courses. Dog lovers will appreciate Schimmel Dog Park, which has separate spaces for large and smaller dogs, plus bag dispensers and bins, and plenty of seating.
When you need to get your shopping fix, head for Ontario Mills, the largest shopping mall in the county. With over 1.5 million sq. feet of space, and over 200 stores to choose from, you can find anything from the latest top fashion trends, to comedy clubs and high-end restaurants. Lovers of the arts will enjoy theater dinners at the Rainforest Cafe, or, for something a little different, check out the Murder Mystery Dinners at the DoubleTree by Hilton. Voted the best dinner-show in LA, it’s well worth getting involved.
For more entertainment, head to the Ontario Town Square, where you can enjoy free open air movie nights in the park, a range of quality restaurants and bars, and numerous boutique stores and cafes. Nearby, you’ll find the Ontario Museum of History and Art, which is great for both kids and adults. Be sure to be in town on the first Saturday of June, when the annual Pancake Breakfast and Car Show takes place, attracting over 10,000 visitors looking to enjoy sumptuous pancakes and stunning cars.
Employment & Economy in Ontario, CA
The median household income in Ontario is $57,544, which means residents typically take home just under the U.S. average of $60,336. The most common industries in the city include retail trade, manufacturing, and healthcare and social assistance. Utilities is the best paid industry, while the transport and warehousing industry employs an unusually high number of residents compared to other areas of the country.
The most common jobs held by residents of Ontario are in office and admin support roles, sales occupations, and production occupations. Ontario’s highest paid residents are employed in law enforcement roles (including supervisors).
The top employer in the city is the Ontario International Airport, which specializes in both cargo and passenger services, with much of the sea cargo that arrives in the iconic Port of Los Angeles, eventually being processed through the airport.
Education in Ontario, CA
Four separate school districts serve Ontario; Chino Valley Unified School District, Chaffey Joint Union High School District, Ontario-Montclair School District, and Cucamonga Elementary School District. There is a total of 36 public schools within the city, with 25 elementary schools, 6 middle schools, and 5 high schools. In addition, there are several private schools, including 2 private military schools.
The top rated elementary school is Edison Elementary, which frequently rates above average in terms of test scores and overall quality. Accepting students up until grade 8, it also ranks as the best public middle school. The top rated high schools include Colony High, and Ontario High, both of which score above average in test scores and advanced courses.
In terms of higher education, the University of La Verne College of Law is located in downtown Ontario. The university offers a variety of law degrees and courses, as well as professional skills training.
Tips for Renting in Ontario, CA
When considering a move to Ontario, California, from other more northerly states, it’s important to understand just how hot the days can be. Seeking out an apartment or house with AC is almost essential. However, respite isn’t far away, and you can always head into the mountains if you need to cool off. A car is useful (be sure it too has AC), though be prepared for traffic around rush hours. If you’re working in LA proper, you can expect extremely long commute times of well over an hour each way.
The city very much epitomizes the classic sense of the suburbs, with a quiet, small town vibe and not so much in the way of nightlife. However, you don’t have to head to the big city for a little culture, as Ontario does have its fair share of museums, historical buildings, theaters, and art galleries, as well as several annual community events.
Neighborhoods north of Holt Blvd tend to be a little more crammed, though there’s a wider array of building styles, with several historical examples. To the south, you can expect more modern buildings that are a little more spaced out.
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