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Canton, Ohio
City of Canton
Canton, Ohio Skyline
Canton, Ohio Skyline
Flag of Canton, Ohio
Flag
Nickname(s): 
Hall of Fame City
Location in the state of Ohio
Location in the state of Ohio
Location of Canton in Stark County
Location of Canton in Stark County
Coordinates: 40°48′18″N 81°22′33″W / 40.80500°N 81.37583°W / 40.80500; -81.37583Coordinates: 40°48′18″N 81°22′33″W / 40.80500°N 81.37583°W / 40.80500; -81.37583
Country United States
State Ohio
County Stark
Founded 1805
Incorporated 1815 (village)
1854 (city)
Government
 • Type Mayor–council
Area
 • City 26.17 sq mi (67.78 km2)
 • Land 26.15 sq mi (67.73 km2)
 • Water 0.02 sq mi (0.05 km2)
Elevation
1,060 ft (323 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • City 70,872
 • Density 2,708.1/sq mi (1,045.62/km2)
 • Urban
279,245 (US: 135th)
 • Metro
395,900 (US: 136th)
 • CSA
3,485,691 (US: 18th)
Demonym(s) Cantonian
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
44700-44799
Area code/Area code 330 & 234
FIPS code 39-12000
GNIS feature ID 1048580
Website www.cantonohio.gov

Canton is a city in and the county seat of Stark County, Ohio, United States. It is located approximately 60 miles (97 km) south of Cleveland and 20 miles (32 km) south of Akron in Northeast Ohio. The city lies on the edge of Ohio's extensive Amish country, particularly in Holmes and Wayne counties to the city's west and southwest. Canton is the largest municipality in the Canton-Massillon, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Stark and Carroll counties. As of the 2020 Census, the population was 70,872, making Canton eighth among Ohio cities in population.

Founded in 1805 alongside the Middle and West Branches of Nimishillen Creek, Canton became a heavy manufacturing center because of its numerous railroad lines. However, its status in that regard began to decline during the late 20th century, as shifts in the manufacturing industry led to the relocation or downsizing of many factories and workers. After this decline, the city's industry diversified into the service economy, including retailing, education, finance and healthcare.

Canton is chiefly notable for being the home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the birthplace of the National Football League. 25th U.S. President William McKinley conducted the famed front porch campaign, which won him the presidency of the United States in the 1896 election, from his home in Canton. The McKinley National Memorial and the William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum commemorate his life and presidency. Canton was also chosen as the site of the First Ladies National Historic Site largely in honor of his wife, Ida Saxton McKinley.

Beginning in 2015, Canton began experiencing an urban renaissance, anchored by its growing and thriving arts district centrally located in the downtown area. Several historic buildings have been rehabilitated and converted into upscale lofts, attracting hundreds of new downtown residents into the city. Furthering this downtown development, in June 2016, Canton became one of the first cities in Ohio to allow the open consumption of alcoholic beverages in a "designated outdoor refreshment area" pursuant to a state law enacted in 2015 (Sub. H.B. No. 47).

History

McKinley National Memorial
Burial site of President William McKinley
Mckinley museum wiki
William McKinley Presidential Library & Museum

Canton was founded in 1805, incorporated as a village in 1822, and re-incorporated as a city in 1838.

Bezaleel Wells, the surveyor who divided the land of the town, named it after Canton (a traditional name for Guangzhou), China. The name was a memorial to a trader named John O'Donnell, whom Wells admired. O'Donnell had named his Maryland plantation after the Chinese city, as he had been the first person to transport goods from there to Baltimore.

Canton was the adopted home of President William McKinley. Born in Niles, McKinley first practiced law in Canton around 1867, and was prosecuting attorney of Stark County from 1869 to 1871. The city was his home during his successful campaign for Ohio governor, the site of his front-porch presidential campaign of 1896 and the campaign of 1900. Canton is now the site of the William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum and the McKinley National Memorial, dedicated in 1907.

Geography

Address system

Canton's street layout forms the basis for the system of addresses in Stark County. Canton proper is divided into address quadrants (NW, NE, SW, SE) by Tuscarawas Street (dividing N and S) and Market Avenue (dividing E and W). Due to shifts in the street layout, the E-W divider becomes Cleveland Avenue south of the city, merging onto Ridge Road farther out. The directionals are noted as suffixes to the street name (e.g. Tuscarawas St W, 55th Street NE). Typically within the city numbered streets run east and west and radiate from the Tuscarawas Street baseline, while named avenues run north and south.

This system extends into Stark County but is not shared by the cities of Massillon, Louisville, East Canton or North Canton, which have their own internal address grids.

Topography

Canton is located at an elevation of 1060 feet (323 m). Nimishillen Creek and its East, Middle and West Branches flow through the city.

Canton is bordered by Plain Township and North Canton to the north, Meyers Lake and Perry Township to the west, Canton Township to the South, and Nimishillen Township, Osnaburg Township and East Canton to the east. Annexations were approved in December 2006 extending Canton's eastern boundary to East Canton's border.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 25.48 square miles (65.99 km2), of which, 25.46 square miles (65.94 km2) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.05 km2) is water.

Climate

Canton has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa), typical of much of the Midwestern United States, with very warm, humid summers and cold winters. Winters tend to be cold, with average January high temperatures of 33 °F (1 °C), and average lows of 19 °F (−7 °C), with considerable variation in temperatures. During a typical January, high temperatures of over 50 °F (10 °C) are just as common as low temperatures of below 0 °F (−18 °C). Snowfall is lighter than the snow belt areas to the north. Akron-Canton Airport generally averages 47.1 inches (120 cm) of snow per season. Springs are short with rapid transition from hard winter to summer weather. Summers tend to be warm, sometimes hot, with average July high temperatures of 82 °F (28 °C), and average July low of 62 °F (17 °C). Summer weather is more stable, generally humid with thunderstorms fairly common. Temperatures reach or exceed 90 °F (32 °C) about 9 times each summer, on average. Fall usually is the driest season with many clear, warm days and cool nights. The all-time record high in the Akron-Canton area of 104 °F (40 °C) was established on August 6, 1918, and the all-time record low of −25 °F (−32 °C) was set on January 19, 1994.

Climate data for Canton, Ohio (Akron-Canton Airport), 1981–2010 normals
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 73
(22.8)
76
(24.4)
83
(28.3)
89
(31.7)
94
(34.4)
100
(37.8)
102
(38.9)
104
(40)
99
(37.2)
89
(31.7)
80
(26.7)
76
(24.4)
104
(40)
Average high °F (°C) 33.6
(0.89)
37.2
(2.89)
47.2
(8.44)
60.1
(15.61)
69.8
(21)
78.5
(25.83)
82.5
(28.06)
80.8
(27.11)
73.4
(23)
61.5
(16.39)
49.7
(9.83)
37.4
(3)
59.3
(15.17)
Average low °F (°C) 19.3
(-7.06)
21.4
(-5.89)
28.6
(-1.89)
38.9
(3.83)
48.6
(9.22)
57.8
(14.33)
62.0
(16.67)
60.7
(15.94)
53.4
(11.89)
42.5
(5.83)
34.0
(1.11)
24.0
(-4.44)
40.9
(4.94)
Record low °F (°C) −25
(-31.7)
−20
(-28.9)
−6
(-21.1)
10
(-12.2)
24
(-4.4)
32
(0)
41
(5)
39
(3.9)
29
(-1.7)
20
(-6.7)
−1
(-18.3)
−16
(-26.7)
−25
(-31.7)
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.60
(66)
2.30
(58.4)
2.98
(75.7)
3.55
(90.2)
4.28
(108.7)
3.83
(97.3)
4.07
(103.4)
3.56
(90.4)
3.45
(87.6)
2.83
(71.9)
3.28
(83.3)
2.83
(71.9)
39.56
(1,004.8)
Snowfall inches (cm) 12.6
(32)
10.8
(27.4)
8.0
(20.3)
2.7
(6.9)
0.1
(0.3)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.4
(1)
3.0
(7.6)
10.2
(25.9)
47.7
(121.2)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 17.1 14.1 14.0 14.3 14.0 12.1 11.3 9.6 10.2 10.9 13.8 16.2 157.6
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 13.1 9.4 6.6 2.5 0 0 0 0 0 0.5 3.4 10.3 45.8
Source: NOAA (extremes 1887–present)

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1830 1,257
1850 2,603
1860 4,041 55.2%
1870 8,660 114.3%
1880 12,258 41.5%
1890 26,189 113.6%
1900 30,667 17.1%
1910 50,217 63.7%
1920 87,091 73.4%
1930 104,906 20.5%
1940 108,401 3.3%
1950 116,912 7.9%
1960 113,631 −2.8%
1970 110,053 −3.1%
1980 94,730 −13.9%
1990 84,161 −11.2%
2000 80,806 −4.0%
2010 73,007 −9.7%
2020 70,872 −2.9%
Sources:
Canton-Massillon Metropolitan Area
Location of the Canton-Massillon Metropolitan Statistical Area in Ohio

Canton is the largest principal city of the Canton-Massillon Metropolitan Statistical Area, a metropolitan area that covers Carroll and Stark counties and had a combined population of 404,422 at the 2010 census.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 73,007 people, 29,705 households, and 17,127 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,867.5 inhabitants per square mile (1,107.1/km2). There were 34,571 housing units at an average density of 1,357.9 per square mile (524.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 69.1% White, 24.2% African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 1.0% from other races, and 4.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 2.6% of the population.

There were 29,705 households, of which 31.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 30.8% were married couples living together, 21.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 42.3% were non-families. 35.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 3.04.

The median age in the city was 35.6 years. 25.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 10.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.6% were from 25 to 44; 25.6% were from 45 to 64; and 12.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.4% male and 52.6% female.

Arts and education

The Canton Museum of Art, founded in 1935, is a broad-based community arts organization designed to encourage and promote the fine arts in Canton. The museum focuses on 19th and 20th Century American artists, specifically works on paper, and on American ceramics, beginning in the 1950s. The museum sponsors annual shows of work of high school students in Canton and Stark County, and financial scholarships are awarded. Educational Outreach programs take the museum off-site to libraries, parochial schools, area public schools, five inner city schools and a school for students with behavioral disorders. The city's Arts District, located downtown, is the site of monthly First Friday arts celebrations.

Canton's K-12 students are primarily served by the Canton City School District, although students north of 17th Street NW have an overlap with Plain Local School District. Canton Local School District serves the better part of Canton South. Malone University, a private, four-year liberal arts college affiliated with the Evangelical Friends Church, is located on 25th Street NW. Catholic-run Walsh University is located nearby in North Canton. Stark State College and a branch of Kent State University are also nearby, in Jackson Township. Also, in downtown Canton, there is a small annex for Stark State College to be used by the Early College High School students who are located on the Timken Campus.

The city is also served by two Catholic high schools: St. Thomas Aquinas High School and Central Catholic High School (located in Perry Township). Perry Township is also home to Perry High School which serves students from both the Massillon and Canton area. Catholic grade schools within the city limits of Canton are St. Peter, St. Joseph, and Our Lady of Peace. Additional Catholic schools in the Canton area include Canton St. Michael School, ranked first in the Power of the Pen state tournament in 2010, and Canton St. Joan of Arc School. There is also Heritage Christian School (K-12), a Christian grade school and high school. Canton Country Day School is a private PreK-8 school located just outside city limits in nearby Plain Township. Within the city limits is the private Canton Montessori School, which teaches according to the Montessori Plan for education proposed by Maria Montessori in the early 20th century.

Neighborhoods

  • Dueber
  • Vassar Park
  • West Park
  • West Branch Park

Transportation

Canton is connected to the Interstate Highway System via Interstate 77 which connects Canton to Charleston, West Virginia, and points south, and to Cleveland and Akron, Ohio, to the north.

U.S. Route 30 connects Canton to Fort Wayne, Indiana, and points west, and to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and points east. U.S. Route 62 connects Canton to Columbus, Ohio, and points southwest, and to Youngstown, Ohio, and points northeast.

The city has several arterial roads. Ohio 43 (Market Avenue, Walnut Avenue and Cherry Avenue), Ohio 153 (12th Street and Mahoning Road), Ohio 172 (Tuscarawas Street) / The Lincoln Highway, Ohio 297 (Whipple Avenue and Raff Avenue), Ohio 627 (Faircrest Street), Ohio 687 (Fulton Drive), and Ohio 800 (Cleveland Avenue) / A.K.A. Old Route 8.

Amtrak offers daily service to Chicago and Washington, D.C., from a regional passenger station located in Alliance, Ohio.

Norfolk Southern and the Wheeling-Lake Erie railroads provide freight service in Canton.

Akron-Canton Regional Airport (IATA: CAK, IACO: KCAK) is a commercial Class C airport located 10 miles (16 km) north of the city and provides daily commercial passenger and air freight service.

Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) provides public transit bus service within the county, including service to Massillon, the Akron-Canton Regional Airport, and the Amtrak station located in Alliance.

Popular culture

On the July 21, 2008, Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report made a comment about John McCain making a campaign stop in Canton, Ohio, and "not the crappy Canton in Georgia." The comment resulted in a local uproar, with the Canton, Georgia, mayor insisting Colbert had never visited the town along with an invitation for him to do so. On July 30, 2008, Colbert apologized for the story, insisting that he was incorrect and that the "real" crappy Canton was Canton, Kansas, after which he made several jokes at the Kansas town's expense. On August 5, Colbert apologized to citizens of Canton, Georgia and Canton, Kansas, then directing his derision on Canton, South Dakota. Colbert later went on to offer a half-hearted apology to Canton, South Dakota before proceeding to mock Canton, Texas. On October 28, Colbert turned his attention back to Canton, Ohio after Barack Obama made a campaign stop there, forcing Colbert to find it "crappy."

In 2009, the city was mistakenly listed on Google's map service as "Colesville". A rumor that the mistake was the result of a prank by rival football fans was denied by Google spokeswoman Elaine Filadelfo.

Canton was featured in the Star Trek: Voyager episode, "11:59", as an alternative location for the Millennium Gate, a futuristic biosphere, because the town where it was supposed to be built was the home of Henry Janeway (an ancestor of Voyager's captain, Kathryn Janeway) who refused to comply.

Sister cities

Canton has two sister cities:

Economy

Halftrack-production-3
Production of half-track armored cars in a converted Diebold Safe and Lock Company plant, Canton, Ohio.
Preserved wooster street
Bricks manufactured in Canton

The Canton area's economy is primarily industrial, with significant health care and agricultural segments. The city is home to the TimkenSteel Corporation, a major manufacturer of specialty steel. Several other large companies operate in the greater-Canton area, including Timken Company a maker of tapered roller bearings; Belden Brick Company, a brick and masonry producer; Diebold, a maker of ATMs, electronic voting devices, and bank vaults, and Medline Industries, a manufacturer and distributor of health care supplies. The area is also home to several regional food producers, including Nickles Bakery (baked goods), Case Farms (poultry), and Shearer's Foods (snack foods). Poultry production and dairy farming are also important segments of the Canton area's economy.

Market Street, Showing Northwest Corner Public Square, Canton, Ohio
Market Street, Showing Northwest Corner Public Square, Canton, Ohio

Since 2000, Canton has experienced a very low unemployment rate. The healthcare sector is particularly strong, with Aultman Hospital and Mercy Medical Center among its largest employers. Nevertheless, as in many industrial areas of the United States, employment in the manufacturing sector is in a state of decline. LTV Steel (formerly Republic Steel) suffered bankruptcy in 2000. Republic Steel emerged and continues to maintain operations in Canton. Hoover Company, a major employer for decades in the region, reached an agreement to sell Hoover to Hong Kong-based Techtronic Industries. The main plant in nearby North Canton closed its doors in September 2007. On June 30, 2014, the Timken Company and TimkenSteel split, forming two separate companies at the urging of shareholders. The Timken Company relocated to neighboring Jackson Township, while TimkenSteel remains headquartered in Canton. In response to this changing manufacturing landscape, the city is undergoing a transition to a retail and service-based economy.

Beginning in the 1970s, Canton, like many mid-size American cities, lost most of its downtown retail business to the suburbs. The majority of the Canton area's "box store" retail is located in the general vicinity of the Belden Village Mall in Jackson Township. However, in recent years, the downtown area has seen significant rejuvenation, with cafes, restaurants, and the establishment of an arts district. A few retail centers remain in Canton at or near the city limits. Tuscarawas Street (Lincoln Way), a leg of the Lincoln Highway connecting Canton with nearby Massillon, is home to the Canton Centre mall and several retail outlets of varying size. A vein of commerce runs along Whipple Avenue, connecting the Canton Centre area with the Belden Village area. A similar vein runs north from the downtown area, along Cleveland and Market avenues. Connecting Cleveland and Market avenues is a small shopping district on 30th Street NW, and retail lines the Route 62 corridor leading from Canton to Louisville and Alliance.

During the past decade Canton has come to experience a renaissance. At the heart of this transformation is the Pro Football Hall of Fame, with its multimillion-dollar "Hall of Fame Village" expansion project. This project has been complemented with significant investments by city leaders in urban redevelopment, which continued with the transformation of the Hotel Onesto into the Historic Onesto Lofts. Other urban renewal plans are underway, which include the redevelopment of the downtown Market Square area. Private investment has furthered Canton's transformation, which is illustrated by the multimillion-dollar creation of the Gervasi Vineyard, which draws patrons throughout the region. In furtherance of these development initiatives, Canton was one of the first cities in Ohio to create a "designated outdoor refreshment area" legalizing the possession and consumption of "open container" alcoholic beverages in its downtown area.

Principal employers

According to Canton's 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of employees  % of city employment
1 Aultman Hospital 7,500 17.48%
2 Timken Steel 2,830 9.03%
3 Stark County 2,532 8.08%
4 Mercy Medical 2,500 7.97%
5 Canton City Schools 2,260 7.21%
6 City of Canton 985 3.14%
7 Fresh Mark Inc. 873 2.78%
8 The M. K. Morse Company 460 1.47%
9 Republic Steel 400 1.28%
10 Nationwide 320 1.02%
Total 18,640 59.45%

Sports

Football Hall of Fame
Front entrance to the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Canton is home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The American Professional Football Association, the forerunner of the NFL, was founded in a Canton car dealership on September 17, 1920.

The Canton Bulldogs were an NFL football team that played from 1920 to 1923, skipped the 1924 season, then played 1925 to 1926 before folding.

Canton is the home of the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival, which includes a hot air balloon festival, ribs burn-off, fashion show, community parade, Sunday morning race, enshrinee dinner, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame Grand Parade. The festival culminates in the enshrinement of the new inductees and the NFL/Hall of Fame Game, a pre-season exhibition between teams representing the AFC and NFC at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.

Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, used during the regular season by Canton McKinley High School (as well as some other area schools and colleges), was rated the number one high school football venue in America by the Sporting News in 2002. This may be partly attributable to the Bulldogs' rivalry with the nearby Massillon Washington High School Tigers, which is regarded as one of the best rivalries in all of high school football. All seven of the Ohio High School Athletic Association state final football games are hosted in Canton at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.

The Canton Legends played in the American Indoor Football Association at the Canton Civic Center. Operations were suspended in 2009. The Continental Indoor Football League also has offices in Canton.

The first official female bodybuilding competition was held in Canton in November 1977 and was called the Ohio Regional Women's Physique Championship.

For ten seasons, Canton was home to an NBA G League team, the Canton Charge, which started play with the 2011–12 season and home games at the Canton Memorial Civic Center. The Cleveland Cavaliers had full control over the franchise and relocated the franchise in to Cleveland in 2021 when the ten-year lease ended.

The Canton Invaders of the National Professional Soccer League II and American Indoor Soccer Association played home games at the Canton Memorial Civic Center from 1984 until 1996, winning five league championships. In 2009, the Ohio Vortex became an expansion team in the Professional Arena Soccer League. Operations have since been suspended.

Canton has been home to professional baseball on several occasions. A number of minor league teams called Canton home in the early 1900s, including the Canton Terriers in the 1920s and '30s. The Canton–Akron Indians were the AA affiliate of the major league Cleveland Indians for nine years, playing at Thurman Munson Memorial Stadium until the team relocated north to Akron following the 1996 season. Two independent minor league teams, the Canton Crocodiles and the Canton Coyotes, both members of the Frontier League, called Munson Stadium home for several years afterward. The Crocodiles, who won the league championship in their inaugural season in 1997, moved to Washington, Pennsylvania, in 2002, and the Coyotes moved to Columbia, Missouri, in 2003, after just one season in Canton.

Canton is home to the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps, a world class competitor in Drum Corps International. The Bluecoats have been a part of the "top five" finalists in the DCI World Championships since 2013, and took home the Founders' Trophy in 2016, with their show entitled "Down Side Up".

Notable people

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