Ontario, Oregon

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Ontario is the largest city in Malheur County, Oregon, United States. It lies along the Snake River at the Idaho border. The population was 10,985 at the 2000 census, with an estimated population of 11,245 in 2006.[3] The city is the largest community in the region of far eastern Oregon, also known as the Western Treasure Valley.

Ontario is the principal city of the Ontario, OR-ID Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Malheur County in Oregon and Payette County in Idaho.

Ontario is approximately halfway between Portland and Salt Lake City. It is the closest city to the Idaho border along Interstate 84. The city's slogan is "Where Oregon Begins".



Ontario was founded on June 11, 1883, by developers William Morfitt, Mary Richardson, Daniel Smith, and James Virtue, in anticipation of a railroad planned to go through that part of the state. It was named after Virtue's home province of Ontario in Canada.

Ontario was incorporated by the Oregon Legislative Assembly on February 11, 1899.[4]


Ontario is located at an elevation of 2,150 feet (660 m) above sea level.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.5 square miles (11.6 km²), all of it land.[5]

Located at about river mile 373 on the Snake River, just north of the place where it begins to form the border of Oregon and Idaho, Ontario is served by Interstate 84, U.S. Route 30, and Oregon Route 201. Access to Interstate 84 is provided by exits 374 and 376. The city center is laid out in a simple block pattern aligned with the Union Pacific Railroad, and the city address system is divided by North and South Oregon Street and East and West Idaho Avenue. Moreover, Oregon Street and Idaho Avenue divide the city logically into NW, NE, SW, and SE quadrants and, somewhat unusually[citation needed] for an Oregon city, a preponderance of the city's streets are numbered; numbered avenues radiate north and south from Idaho Avenue whereas numbered streets radiate east and west from Oregon Street. The quadrant designations are prepended to the street name (e.g., SW 4th Ave, NE 3rd St).

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