Ontario among ’30 Best Neighborhoods in America’

The blog of CarRentals.com chose the “30 Best Neighborhoods in America” — among them: The Woodlands, Texas; Minnetonka, Minnesota; Beaverton, Oregon; and Salem, Massachusetts — and Ontario was among them. The city is described as being in the Riverside Metro area rather than a suburb of LA. Here’s what the blog says in full, under a photo of the Improv stage:

The Inland Empire of Southern California is loaded with cheeky towns that are perfect for weekend getaways. One such town is Ontario, where the Chaffey Community Museum of Art will invigorate your passion for fine paintings. After talking in hushed tones at the art gallery, enjoy side-splitting laughs at the Improv Comedy Club. Who knows, you might just witness the next Eddie Murphy take the stage.

Perhaps not how many of us would think of Ontario, but it’s always interesting to see ourselves as others see us. Still: “cheeky”?

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Column: Signs of renewal at Ontario museum

There are new signs (see headline pun), new landscaping and more at the Ontario Museum of History and Art, which remains little-known in the community. Will the changes make the museum more visible? They should. My Sunday column can’t hurt either.

At top, a student passes by at the perfect moment to add human scale to this photo, for which he has my thanks. Dig the high-style modern sign. Below, a view of the museum from Euclid Avenue, what was once the entrance when the building was City Hall, and showing the area now called the courtyard. At bottom, museum director John Worden with the new sign at Euclid and Transit, the Frankish Fountain behind him. The diamonds on the sign mirror a design on the building exterior.

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Remembering Torley’s Market

torleysont

Photo courtesy Ontario Library Model Colony History Room

Torley’s was a classic Ontario grocery, located at 416 E. A St., later known as Holt Avenue. According to the city of Ontario’s Facebook page, which has been posting historical photos for the city’s 125th anniversary, Torley’s Big Store opened in 1930.

On Dec. 31, 1935, a fire damaged the building so severely that the remainder was pulled down. The rebuilt structure was larger but did not have the original’s high tower, probably because ostentation didn’t become the depths of the Depression. Says the FB writeup: “Torley’s Big Store appears to be Ontario’s first ‘big box’ retail store.”

Torley’s is often spoken of by longtime residents, along with King Cole and Boney’s, two other locally owned markets. Alas, Torley’s closed its doors for good in 1976 and the building is long gone.

Do you remember Torley’s? What was it like? What did it sell?

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