The Gage Canal was built between 1885 and 1889 by Matthew Gage, a Canadian jeweler. He filed a claim for 640 acres under the Desert Land Act of 1877. In order to gain title, Gage had three years to bring water to the land. He built the 11.91-mile-long canal to bring water to this area from the Santa Ana River and later extended it another 8.22 miles through Citrus Park to its terminus. The canal doubled citrus production in Riverside.

The canal was built with wooden flumes constructed across arroyos and tunnels dug through knolls, and later lined with cement. Today, it remains a key source of low-priced water for citrus farmers in this area.