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Cheektowaga, New York

Left to right from top: Buffalo Niagara International Airport, Anna M. Reinstein Public Library, Walden Galleria, Cheektowaga Town Hall
Location in Erie County and the state of New York.
Location in Erie County and the state of New York.
Location of New York in the United States
Location of New York in the United States
Country  United States
State  New York
County Erie County
Incorporated 1839
Named for Crabapples
 • Total 29.49 sq mi (76.39 km2)
 • Land 29.43 sq mi (76.23 km2)
 • Water 0.06 sq mi (0.16 km2)
662 ft (202 m)
 • Total 89,877 Increase
 • Density 2,955.39/sq mi (1,141.08/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 716
FIPS code 36-029-15011

Cheektowaga is a town in Erie County, New York, United States. As of the 2020 census, the town has grown to a population of 89,877. The town is in the north-central part of the county, and is an inner ring suburb of Buffalo. The town is the second-largest suburb of Buffalo, after the Town of Amherst.

The town of Cheektowaga contains the village of Sloan and half of the village of Depew. The remainder, outside the villages, is a census-designated place also named Cheektowaga. The town is home to the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, Erie County's principal airport.

Villa Maria College, Empire State College, and the Walden Galleria are in Cheektowaga.


Cheektowaga was first settled by the Seneca people of the Iroquois Confederacy, who named the location Chictawauga, meaning "land of the crabapples" in the Seneca language. Cheektowaga was formed from the town of Amherst on March 22, 1839, and upon the formation of West Seneca on October 16, 1851, was reduced to its present limits—about 30 square miles (78 km2). Throughout the 19th century, it was referred to by its original name, "Chictawauga".

Originally a rural farming area, the town was extensively developed during the post-World War II subdivision boom of the 1950s. Factories such as the Westinghouse Electric Corporation plant on Genesee Street (since demolished) generated employment to the area for many decades. The town maintains a strong blue-collar presence. Cheektowaga has a large Polish-American community, much of which relocated from Buffalo's East Side, and about 39.9% of population is of Polish heritage.

The Walden Galleria opened in 1989, becoming the Buffalo Niagara region's largest mall.

Garrison Cemetery, Our Lady Help of Christians Chapel, and Villa Maria Motherhouse Complex are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Cheektowaga Town Hall
Cheektowaga town hall, off Broadway (NY 130)

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 29.5 square miles (76.4 km2), of which 29.4 square miles (76.2 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km2), or 0.21%, is water.

The town is bordered by Lancaster on the east, West Seneca on the south, the city of Buffalo on the west, and on the north by Amherst. The town includes the waterways of Scajaquada Creek, Cayuga Creek and Ellicott Creek.


  • Bellevue - A neighborhood between Union Road and the Depew border. It is home to the Bellevue Fire Department and a portion of Cayuga Creek. It is also home to the historic Bellevue Hotel, a local bar and restaurant which has been in existence since the 19th century.
  • Cheektowaga - A census-designated place corresponding to all of the town outside the villages of Sloan and Depew.
  • Cleveland Hill - A neighborhood located on the north town line; has its own school district.
  • Depew - The village of Depew (shared with the town of Lancaster) is in the eastern part of the town.
  • Doyle - A neighborhood near the western town line.
  • Forks - A location near Union Road (NY-277) and Broadway (NY-130).
  • Maryvale - A neighborhood located just west of the airport, this community is also a school district, containing Maryvale High School.
  • Pine Hill - A neighborhood on the border of Buffalo, featuring many cemeteries and Villa Maria College.
  • Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve – A conservation area in the south central part of the town.
  • Sloan - The village of Sloan, near the Buffalo border. Sloan is the seat of the Cheekotowaga-Sloan school district.
  • South Cheektowaga - Neighborhood on the border of West Seneca near French Road. Several apartment complexes are located in this area.
  • U-Crest - A neighborhood near Union Road (NY-277) and Genesee Street (NY-33).
  • Williamsville - A small part of the village of Williamsville (shared with the town of Amherst).


On July 30, 1987, an F1 tornado touched down in the Union Road and George Urban Boulevard area. It grew to an F2 before dissipating. Homes and business suffered serious damage, but there were no fatalities or severe injuries. This tornado is locally memorable as the one which ripped the roof off the Holiday Showcase Restaurant and damaged a nearby Putt Putt® miniature golf center.

Another F1 tornado touched down not far from the site of the 1987 tornado on June 30, 2006. Again, homes and businesses - including the Holiday Showcase, which was remodeled soon after - were damaged, and a tractor trailer was knocked over on the NY State Thruway, but no one was killed.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 1,137
1850 3,042 167.5%
1860 2,743 −9.8%
1870 2,465 −10.1%
1880 2,327 −5.6%
1890 2,974 27.8%
1900 5,156 73.4%
1910 7,620 47.8%
1920 11,923 56.5%
1930 20,849 74.9%
1940 25,006 19.9%
1950 45,354 81.4%
1960 84,056 85.3%
1970 113,844 35.4%
1980 109,442 −3.9%
1990 99,314 −9.3%
2000 94,019 −5.3%
2010 88,226 −6.2%
2020 89,877 1.9%
Historical Population Figures
Cheektowaga (town)

As of the census of 2000, there were 94,019 people, 40,045 households, and 25,869 families residing in the town. The population density was 3,183.8 people per square mile (1,229.3/km2). There were 41,901 housing units at an average density of 1,418.9 per square mile (547.9/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 94.94% White, 2.93% Black or African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.94% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.27% from other races, and 0.75% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.97% of the population.

There were 40,045 households, out of which 25.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.5% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.4% were non-families. 30.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 20.6% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 23.2% from 45 to 64, and 20.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 88.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $38,121, and the median income for a family was $46,646. Males had a median income of $34,538 versus $25,434 for females. The per capita income for the town was $19,627. About 4.6% of families and 6.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.7% of those under age 18 and 6.4% of those age 65 or over.

Major ancestries in the town are Polish (39.9%), German (29.9%), Italian (16.0%), Irish (14.1%), English (5.8%), and French (2.7%).

Twin towns — Sister cities

Cheektowaga is twinned with:


Higher education

There are two separate higher educational institutions with campuses in the town.

  • Villa Maria College
  • Empire State College

Public schools

There are eight separate public school districts within the town.

  • Cheektowaga Central School District
  • Cheektowaga-Sloan Union Free School District
  • Cleveland Hill Union Free School District
  • Maryvale Union Free School District
  • Depew Union Free School District
  • West Seneca Central School District
  • Lancaster Central School District
  • Williamsville Central School District


The east town line is marked by New York State Route 78 (Transit Road). New York State Route 240 (Harlem Road) and New York State Route 277 (Union Road) are major north-south routes through the town. New York State Route 33 (Kensington Expressway), Walden Avenue, and William Street access the New York State Thruway, which is also runs north-south through the town, traveling from the Amherst town line in the north, south to the West Seneca town line in the southwest corner of town. New York State Route 130 (Broadway) is an east-west roadway from the Buffalo city line to the Depew village line. Interstate 190, travels in the town from I-90 to Buffalo City Line and beyond into Downtown Buffalo and north to Niagara Falls. U.S. Route 20 (Transit Road) is a north-south roadway that runs concurrently with NY 78 along Cheektowaga's east border with Lancaster, south of Depew. New York State Route 354 (Clinton Street) is an east-west roadway through the extreme southwest corner of town, and provides the southern border with West Seneca.

Notable people

  • Andrew Anderson, retired pro basketball player who graduated from Maryvale High School in Cheektowaga
  • Christine Baranski, actress (The Good Wife, Mamma Mia!)
  • Ryan Ciminelli, professional bowler
  • William Fichtner, actor
  • Jackson C. Frank, folk musician who survived the Cleveland Hill Elementary fire
  • Dennis H. Gabryszak, former New York State Assemblyman who previously served as town supervisor
  • Dennis Gorski, former Erie County Executive
  • William J. Hochul, Jr., U.S. Attorney who graduated from Cheektowaga Central
  • Liz Johnson, professional bowler and USBC Hall of Famer
  • Chelsea Noble, actress and wife of actor Kirk Cameron
  • Danny Ozark, former manager of the Philadelphia Phillies
  • Mark Pawlak, poet and educator
  • Randy Pikuzinski, retired pro soccer player
  • Ed Rutkowski, former pro football player and Erie County Executive
  • Paul Tokasz, retired New York State Assemblyman
  • David J. Weber, historian
  • Angela Wozniak, former New York State Assemblywoman, former town council member
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