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Ontario is having an identity crisis. Why that's not a bad thing.

Posted at 3:37 PM, Jul 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-11 18:59:26-04

ONTARIO, Oregon — Ontario maybe in Oregon, but it really does seem like an extension of Idaho. The small hamlet along the banks of the Snake River has close ties to the Treasure Valley — and they're OK with that.

"Yes, our community feels like we're more part of Idaho than we are Oregon. Oregon seems to forget that we even exist at times. Most of our association is with our neighbor," City Manger Dan Cummings said.

Ontario's closest neighbor is right across the Snake River, and Ontario business owner Christine Hood believes being associated with Idaho towns is definitely not a bad thing.

"I'm seeing a level of life down here I haven't seen since the 1990's," Hood said. "Every bit of life for all of us so there might be a little bit of competition but from my point of view we're all working together to make a wonderful community that doesn't rely on going to Boise or Meridian for adventurers and entertainment, we want to bring it here, we want it here."

Cummings' staff at City Hall has been working hard to create Ontario's own identity. May Swinhart says don't look past Ontario.

"Something I didn't know before I moved here is just how much there is, I think a misconception is that there's not a whole lot to do in Ontario and the city is really trying hard to change that," Swinhart said.

Ontario is proud of their strong sense of community. Are there things to work on and improve, absolutely, but it seems they're willing to try.