Pros and cons of living in Ontario, California

Are you thinking of moving to Ontario? This suburban city of less than 200,000 is incredible. But, if you plan to live there, you should know more about the city. So, what’re the pros and cons of living in Ontario?

Living in Ontario can be thrilling. It combines the qualities of a town and a city. Benefits of living here include central location, safe environment, low taxes, and great weather. But there are drawbacks too. The downsides to living here are long commutes, high cost of living, and car dependency.

Located in San Bernardino County, Ontario is a city with character.  It’s primarily residential with several neighborhoods. This article examines the positives and negatives of living in Ontario.

Pros of Living in Ontario

There are several benefits to living in this city. As a resident, you’ll enjoy the following:

1. Central Location

Ontario is a suburban city with a laid-back atmosphere and lifestyle. But this city has a central location that makes it easy for residents to benefit from other cities near it. For example, Los Angeles and Irvine are 39 minutes away, Long Beach is less than 50 minutes away, and San Diego is about two hours from here. With so many cities close to it, living in Ontario can be like living in a sleeper community for other major cities. Residents can easily access all the job opportunities in nearby places like Los Angeles and Irvine.

Beyond the economic opportunities that come with the proximity, there are also entertainment options. You can take advantage of the beaches, beautiful sights, and nightlife in the other cities while still living in Ontario.

2. Relatively Safe

Ontario isn’t the safest community in California or even the United States, but it’s relatively safer than several places in California. The crime rate is 3% below the California average. The rate of violent crimes is also 5% lower than the national average.

However, the crime rate is slightly above the national average by 8%, and property crime is higher by 11%. Despite these numbers, Ontario is still a safe city to live in. In fact, it’s safer than 29% of cities in the United States. The chance of being a crime victim here is 1 in 38, and the crime rate has been reducing in the past few years.

So, if you’re looking for a relatively safe and family-friendly city in Southern California, Ontario is a good place to start.

3. Relatively Low Taxes

Another positive thing that residents can expect when living in this city is low taxes. Taxes in California are generally high, but counties and cities also increase the tax rates in some cases. For Ontario, that isn’t the case. The city has no local income tax, which means residents only have to pay the state income tax, which is high at an average of 9.3%.

However, the city has sales taxes. The sales tax rate is 7.75%. A breakdown of the taxes shows that California charges 6.0% and San Bernardino County charges 1.75%. Thus, Ontario doesn’t charge any taxes, ensuring that the city’s sales tax rate is low.

Another tax you’ll have to pay is the property tax. At 1.15%, this is high for California. But the state has one of the lowest property tax rates in the country, which means you’re still paying a relatively low rate compared to many other cities.

4. Great Weather for Fun Activities

Ontario has the ideal Southern California weather, where it’s usually sunny and never gets cold. In this city, there are several things to do both indoors and outdoors. The Cucamonga-Guasti Regional Park and Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden are places where you can experience nature at its most beautiful. Other places include the Museum of History and Art, Chaffey Community Museum of Art, Ontario Center Ice Arena, Toyota Arena, San Antonio Winery, etc. In addition, Ontario has everything from indoor skydiving to golf courses, so there’s no boring time here.

Cons of Living in Ontario

Ontario is far from being the perfect city. It has faults that you should be aware of before moving. They include:

1. Expensive City to Live In

The primary challenge of living in California is the cost of living, and it’s not any different here. Even though this city is one of the most affordable in California, the living price is still significantly higher than the national average by 28.3%. Grocery, utilities, transportation, and other miscellaneous expenses are more expensive here than the national average. But the cost of healthcare is much cheaper. 

Closely related to the high cost of basic expenses is the cost of housing. At an average price of above $700,000, homes in California aren’t affordable. Unsurprisingly, Ontario follows the same trend, with the average home price here being $564,784. That’s almost double the national average of $298,933.

However, despite the high cost of living and houses here compared to the national average, it’s one of the cheapest places to live in California. With its location, you can live here and work in more expensive cities like Los Angeles and Irvine.

2. Long Commutes

If you’re living in Ontario, you should get ready to spend more time in traffic. The average time for a one way commute here is over 4 minutes longer than the national average. If you live in Ontario and have to commute to neighboring cities for work, you should make sure you have something like a podcast or playlist that’ll keep you occupied along the way.

3. Car-Dependent City

As a resident of Ontario, you’ll need a car for most of your errands around the city. According to Walk Score, the city has a bike score of 47, a walk score of 46, and a transit score of 26. This data shows that the city isn’t really walkable, and there are only a few bikes infrastructure. Public transport options are also minimal. Therefore, you need a car to get around.

The majority of commuters in the city, 78.5%, use their cars, while only 2.3% use mass transit.

In Conclusion

Ontario, California, is a great place to live. This city, which got its name from the Ontario province in Canada, is quite affordable and relatively safe. While it has its cons, the downsides are present too, but most aren’t peculiar to the city, and some are manageable.