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Canton is the county seat of Stark Countymarker in northeastern Ohio, approximately south of Akronmarker and south of Clevelandmarker.

Founded in 1805 on the West and Middle Branches of the Nimishillen Creek, Canton became a manufacturing center because of its numerous railroad lines. After the decline of heavy manufacturing, the city's industry diversified into service economy, including retailing, education, finance, and healthcare.

The population was 80,806 at the 2000 census, but according to a 2008 census estimate, the population has declined to 78,362. Despite this decline, the 2008 figure actually had moved Canton up from 9th to 7th place among Ohio cities, as nearby Youngstownmarker in neighboring Mahoning Countymarker, once considerably more populous than Canton, had suffered a larger decline. According to the US Census 2008 estimate, the Canton-Massillon, Ohio Metropolitan Statistical Area has a total population of 407,653 residents.

Canton is home to the Pro Football Hall of Famemarker, the McKinley National Memorialmarker, the William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum, and the First Ladies National Historic Sitemarker.


Burial site of President William McKinley

Canton was founded in 1805. quotes Kim Kenney, the curator of the William McKinley Presidential Library & Museummarker, whose information came from E.T. Heald's series The Stark County Story, as saying that Canton was incorporated as a village in 1822, and then as a city in 1838. However, the history page of the City of Canton's web page gives the date for incorporation as a village as being in 1815, as a town in 1834, and as a city in 1854.

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

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 Countymarker 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 Memorialmarker, dedicated in 1907.



Canton is located at (40.804958, -81.375792) , 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 Townshipmarker and North Cantonmarker to the north, Meyers Lakemarker and Perry Townshipmarker to the west, Canton Townshipmarker to the South, and Nimishillen Townshipmarker, Osnaburg Townshipmarker and East Cantonmarker to the east. Annexations were approved in December 2006 extending Canton's eastern boundary to East Cantonmarker's border.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 20.6 square miles (53.3 km2), of which, 20.5 square miles (53.2 km2) of it is land and 0.05% is water.


Canton has a humid continental climate (Koppen 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 January lows of 17°F (–8°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 snowbeltmarker areas to the north, but is still somewhat influenced by Lake Eriemarker. Akron-Canton Airportmarker generally averages of snow per winter. Springs are short with rapid transition from hard winter to warm, sometimes humid and muggy summers. Summers tend to be warm, sometimes hot, with average July high temperatures of 82°F (28°C), and average July low of 61°F (16°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 dryest 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.


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 Carrollmarker and Stark counties and had a combined population of 406,934 at the 2000 census.

As of the census of 2000, there were 80,806 people, 32,489 households, and 19,785 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,932.1 people per square mile (1,518.2/km2). There were 35,502 housing units at an average density of 1,728.0/sq mi (667.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 74.45% White, 21.04% African American, 0.49% Native American, 0.32% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.61% from other races, and 3.06% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.24% of the population.

There were 32,489 households out of which 30.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.1% were married couples living together, 19.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.1% were non-families. 33.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.6% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 29.1% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 14.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 87.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $28,730, and the median income for a family was $35,680. Males had a median income of $30.628 versus $21,581 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,544. About 15.4% of families and 19.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.4% of those under age 18 and 11.3% of those age 65 or over.


Canton works under a Mayor–Council government and it is the largest city in Ohio to operate without a charter. The City council is divided among 9 wards with 3 at-large seats and the council president. The current mayor is William J. Healy II.


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

As in many industrial areas of the United States, employment in the manufacturing sector is in a state of long-term decline. LTV Steel (formerly Republic Steel) had been a large employer before its bankruptcy in 2000. In 2004, the Timken Company proposed moving its Canton-based bearing production to plants in the South. While Timken's steel production remains centered around Canton, this has struck a blow to the economy and the city's image and pride. The Hoover Company (vacuum and floor cleaners) had been an iconic part of North Cantonmarker for more than 50 years. It was purchased by Techtronics Industries Co Ltd from the Whirlpool Corporation in January 2007, resulting in the June 2007 closure of the original North Canton site. In response to these manufacturing losses, the area is undergoing a transition to a retail and service-based economy.

Canton, like many mid-size American cities, has lost most of its downtown retail business to the suburbs. The lion's share of the Canton area's retail is located in the general vicinity of the Westfield Belden Village Mall in Jackson Townshipmarker. In recent years, the downtown area has seen some rejuvenation, with cafes, restaurants, and art galleries springing up. Despite the exodus of most of the city's retail to the Belden Village area, 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 neighboring Massillonmarker, is home to the Canton Centre Mall and several retail outlets of varying size. A vein of commerce runs along Whipple Ave, 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 St. NW, and retail lines the Route 62 corridor leading from Canton to Louisvillemarker and Alliancemarker.

Arts and education

The Canton Museum of Artmarker, 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, andon 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. Canton, OH is also the home to the DCI World Class Drum Corps, the Bluecoats 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.

Canton's K-12 students are primarily served by the Canton City School District, although students north of 17th St. NW have an overlap with Plain Local School District. Canton Local School District serves the better part of South Canton.Malone University, a private, four-year liberal arts college affiliated with the Evangelical Friends Church, is located on 25th St. N.W. Catholic-run Walsh University is located nearby in North Canton. Stark State College and a branch of Kent State Universitymarker 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 attend Timken High School.

The city is also served by two Catholic high schools --- St. Thomas Aquinas High Schoolmarker serves the eastern portion of Canton (and eastern Stark County as a whole); while Central Catholic High Schoolmarker (located in Perry Township) serves the western part of Canton (and western Stark County as a whole). 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. There is also Heritage Christian School (K-12), a Christian grade school and high school. Canton Country Day School is another private elementary school in the city of Canton. Also 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.



Canton is served in print by The Repository, the city's only newspaper.


Canton, like Akronmarker to the north, is part of the Clevelandmarker television market. However, due to its proximity to Youngstownmarker, it is not uncommon for residents to receive stations from that area as well via over-the-air television transmissions.

There are also 3 television stations that are licensed to Canton, though none of them are major network affiliates.
  • Channel 17: WDLImarker - (TBN) - serving Canton/Akron/Cleveland - Christian
  • Channel 47: WRLM - (TCT) - Canton - Christian
  • Channel 52: WIVM-LP - (RTV) - Canton - Local, independent

Canton also has a cable television public access channel, Canton City Schools TV 11. The content varies based on the viewer's location. Citizens located in North Cantonmarker will see North Canton's programming instead of Canton City's. Those within the borders of Plain Local Schools will see Eagle Television's programming.






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

Every summer, Canton holds the Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival, which includes a hot air balloon festival, ribs burn-off, fashion show, community parade, Sunday morning race, enshrinenee dinner, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame Grande Parade, and culminates in the enshrinement of the new inductees and then the NFL Hall of Fame Game, a pre-season exhibition between teams representing the AFC and the NFC at Fawcett Stadiummarker. Fawcett, used during the regular season by McKinley and Timken high schools in Canton (as well as some other area schools and colleges) has been recognized by The Sporting News. The Canton Bulldogs were an NFL football team that played from 1920-1923 skipped 1924 season then played 1925 to '26 before folding.

Three of the OHSAA state final football games are hosted in Canton at Fawcett Stadiummarker. The other three take place in nearby Massillon, Ohiomarker, at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

The Canton Legends play in the American Indoor Football Association at the Canton Civic Centermarker, although operations were suspended for the 2009 season. The Continental Indoor Football League also has offices in Canton.

The Canton Invaders of the National Professional Soccer League II and American Indoor Soccer Association played home games at the Canton Memorial Civic Centermarker from 1984 until 1996, winning five league championships.

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 Stadiummarker 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 well connected to the Interstate Highway System. Several highway exits from Interstate 77 connect travelers to Canton from Columbia, South Carolinamarker, Charlotte, North Carolinamarker, Charleston, West Virginiamarker and points south, and from Cleveland, Ohiomarker, Akron, Ohiomarker and points north.

Two limited-access highways serve Canton. Several highway exits from U.S. Route 30 connect travelers to Canton from Fort Wayne, Indianamarker and points west, and from Atlantic City, New Jerseymarker, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvaniamarker and points east. Several local highway exits from U.S. Route 62 connect travelers to Canton from Columbus, Ohiomarker and points southwest, and from Youngstown, Ohiomarker 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.

Public transportation is provided by the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA).

Akron-Canton Regional Airportmarker (IATA: CAK, IACOmarker: KCAK) is a commercial Class C airport located north of the city, between Canton and Akronmarker.

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, Kansasmarker, 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 Dakotamarker. Colbert later went on to offer a half-hearted apology to Canton, South Dakota before proceeding to mock Canton, Texasmarker.

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.

Notable natives

Sister cities

Canton has one sister city:


  1. and About Us - General Information. City of Canton, Ohio.
  2. DeLorme (1991). Ohio Atlas & Gazetteer. Yarmouth, Maine: DeLorme. ISBN 0-89933-233-1.
  3. - Canton and Stark County News
  4. - Canton and Stark County News
  5. Monthly Averages for Canton, OH. The Weather Channel. Retrieved on 2008-11-10.
  6. Metropolitan Statistical Areas and Components, Office of Management and Budget, 2007-05-11. Accessed 2008-07-30.
  7. Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival

External links

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