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Economic Development

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Agriculture was a major industry in the Town of Ontario for many years.  During the 1940’s and 1950’s there were several family operated farms ranging up to 30 acres each.  Besides farming, other industries included lumber; mink ranches; barrel making; apple drying; fruit, vegetable, and sauerkraut processing; and dairy farms.

The industrial landscape of the town began to change in 1970 with the opening of the R.E. Ginna Nuclear Plant located at 1503 Lake Road.  The slogan of “Apples to Atoms” was created for the Ontario Chamber of Commerce to signify a changing community.  And change, we have![1]

Perhaps you have heard the comment that the small business is the backbone to the U.S. economy.  No more is that comment more evident than in Ontario.  Due to our close proximity just east of the City of Rochester, Ontario has been successful in the growth of an optics industry cluster along with a variety of other manufacturing companies with the majority located in the Beh Industrial Park.

Ontario remains a progressive town for industrial growth and is the home to Wayne County’s first industrial wind turbine located at Harbec Plastics, 369 Route 104.  In October 2012, Harbec began construction of its second wind turbine.  Wayne County Industrial Development Agency has chosen Ontario for the site of its Wayne Industrial Sustainable Park (WISP) to support future industrial growth.

If you are looking for business incentives, please review the Economic Development Video.   You will hear personal testimonials from business owners who have worked with the town and Wayne County Industrial Development Agency to help accomplish their goals.

Additional industrial acreage is available with sanitary sewer, public water, cable service and natural gas as well as existing vacant buildings.  For a complete listing of retail/business/industrial locations, please go to the town’s website ( under Economic Development or contact William Riddell, Director of Economic Development  (  or call (315) 524-5908.

Featured Article:

Two Local Businesses Make Rochester’s Top 100 Business List (October 2012)

[1] Ontario’s History 1807-1993 as preserved at Heritage Square New York by Virginia D. Scully-Hill, Ontario Town Historian