Canton is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Stark County. The municipality is located in northeastern Ohio and is situated on the Nimishillen Creek, approximately 24 miles (38 km) south of Akron and 60 miles (96 km) south of Cleveland.
As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 80,806, but according to a 2006 census estimate, the population has declined to 78,924. Despite this decline, the 2004 figure actually moved Canton up from 9th to 8th place among Ohio cities, as Youngstown, once considerably more populous than Canton, suffered a larger decline. Canton is the county seat of Stark CountyGR6. The Canton-Massillon Metropolitan Statistical Area has a total population of 409,764 as of the census of 2006.
Canton is home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the McKinley National Memorial, the William McKinley Presidential Library & Museum, and the First Ladies National Historic Site.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Government
- 4 Economy
- 5 Demographics
- 6 Arts and education
- 7 Media
- 7.1 Print
- 7.2 Television
- 7.3 Radio
- 8 Neighborhoods
- 9 Notable natives
- 10 Sports
- 11 Transportation
- 12 Sister cities
- 13 References
- 14 External links
Canton was founded in 1805. Cantonrep.com quotes Kim Kenney, the curator of the William McKinley Presidential Library & Museum, 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 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 is located at 40°48′18″N, 81°22′33″W (40.804958, -81.375792)GR1, 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 and Osnaburg Township to the east. If future annexations are approved Canton will border East Canton to the east.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 53.3 km² (20.6 mi²). 53.2 km² (20.5 mi²) of it is land and 0.05% is water.
Canton works under a Mayor–Council government. It is the largest city in Ohio to operate without a charter. The current mayor is Janet Weir Creighton (R), elected in 2003 and sworn in January 2004.
City council is divided among 9 wards with 3 at-large seats and the council president.
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 Nickels 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 Canton 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 loses, 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 Belden Village Mall, in Jackson Township. 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 Massillon, 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 Louisville and Alliance.
As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 80,806 people, 32,489 households, and 19,785 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,518.2/km² (3,932.1/mi²). There were 35,502 housing units at an average density of 667.0/km² (1,728.0/mi²). 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.
Due to Canton’s diverse demographic, many pollsters used Canton as a microcosm of the country as a whole. President George W. Bush visited Canton on a number of occasions while campaigning in 2000 and 2004, and Democratic Presidential nominee and Massachusetts Senator John Kerry did the same in an effort to win Ohio, a vital state in the 2004 Election.
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.
Canton's K-12 students are primarily served by the Canton City Schools, although students north of 17th St. NW have an overlap with Plain Local Schools. Malone College, 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 University are also nearby, in Jackson Township.
The city is also served by two Catholic high schools --- St. Thomas Aquinas High School (Louisville) serves the eastern portion of Canton (and eastern Stark County as a whole); while Central Catholic High School (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 (Massillon, Ohio) 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 Canton Repository, the city's only daily newspaper. Canton is also served by one individual publication directed towards the citizens of Canton themselves called the "Canton Quarterly".
Canton, like Akron to the north, is part of the Cleveland television market. However, due to its proximity to Youngstown, 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 broadcast from Canton, though none of them are major network affiliates.
- Channel 17: WDLI - (TBN) - Canton - Christian
- Channel 52: WIVM - (A1) - Canton - Local, independent
- Channel 67: WOAC - (IND) - Canton - infomercials
- 640 WHLO, (Clear Channel, News - Talk)
- 900: WCER, (Melodynamic Broadcasting Corporation, Christian Talk) - Canton
- 1060: WILB, (Living Bread Radio Inc., Catholic) - Canton
- 1480: WHBC, (NextMedia Group, News - Talk) - Canton
- 1520: WINW, (Unknown, Black Gospel) - Canton
- 89.7: WKSU, (Kent State University, Classical, NPR) "89.1 WKSU" - Kent
- 92.5: WZKL, (Donald Peterson, Top 40/CHR) "Q92" - Alliance
- 94.1: WHBC-FM, (NextMedia Group, Hot AC) "Mix 94.1" - Canton
- 95.9: WNPQ, (Tuscarawas Broadcasting Co., Contemporary Christian) "95.9 The Light" - New Philadelphia
- 98.1: WKDD, (Clear Channel Communications, Hot AC) "98.1 WKDD" - Canton
- 101.7 WHOF, (Clear Channel Communications, Adult Contemporary "my 101.7" North Canton
- 106.9: WRQK, (Clear Channel Communications, Hard Rock) "Rock 106.9" - Canton
- Crystal Park
- Harter Heights
- Highland Park
- Market Heights
- Newton Zone
- West Park
- West Branch Park
- Jake Abel, actor
- Mother Angelica, Roman Catholic nun and foundress of the Eternal Word Television Network
- Brannon Braga, television producer and screenwriter
- Andrew W. Cordier, U.N. official
- Frank De Vol, composer, songwriter, music arranger, actor
- Dan Dierdorf, American Football player, television announcer
- Mike Doss, American Football player, Minnesota Vikings
- Dustin Fox, American Football player, Philadelphia Eagles
- Peggy Ann Garner, actress
- Macy Gray, R&B singer
- Michael Hawkins, basketball player
- Ted Henry, television co-anchor of WEWS Channel Five news, Cleveland, Ohio
- Phil Hubbard, basketball player and coach
- Inhale Exhale, Christian metal band
- Karl King, composer and bandleader
- Frank Lavin, international trade official
- Benjamin F. Leiter, mayor of Canton, member of the U.S. House of Representatives
- Enoch Light, bandleader
- Lovedrug, indie band
- John Mahon, percussionist with the Elton John Band
- Marilyn Manson, rock singer of the band of the same name
- William McKinley, 25th U.S. President, who is interred in Canton at the McKinley National Memorial
- Keith McLeod, NBA basketball player, Indiana Pacers
- Don Mellett, newspaper editor
- Marion Motley, American Football player
- Thurman Munson, baseball player
- The O'Jays, soul group
- Jack Paar, host of The Tonight Show
- Alan Page, member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and current Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court
- Jean Peters, actress
- Relient K, Christian rock band
- Lewis Roth, Assistant Executive Director, Americans for Peace Now
- Boz Scaggs, musician
- Eric Snow, basketball player, Cleveland Cavaliers
- Jeff Timmons, singer of 98 Degrees
- Don Willis, pool player
- Nicole Wood, Playboy Playmate
- Dave Wottle, Olympic Gold Medalist, 1972 Summer Olympics, Track & Field
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.
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 Stadium. 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 Legends play in the American Indoor Football League at the Canton Civic Center, and the city is also home to the league's offices. The Great Lakes Indoor Football League also has offices in Canton.
The Ohio Aviators are a team in the American Basketball Association that play at the Canton Memorial Civic Center. The team is taking the 2006-2007 season off, but will resume play in the fall of 2007.
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.
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 also home of the baton twirling international championships. The event is sponsored by Twirling Unlimited.
Canton is connected to Akron and Cleveland to the North by Interstate 77. East-West travel is provided by U.S. Route 30 and U.S. Route 62, both of which are limited-access highways through the city and its suburbs. Additionally, there are State Route 43, State Route 153/ Mahoning Road, State Route 172/ Tuscawaras Avenue(The Lincoln Highway), Whipple Avenue/ Raff Road State Route 297, and State Route 800 A.K.A Old Route 8, Cleveland Avenue, Canton Road, State Route 91.
Akron-Canton Regional Airport is located 10 miles (16 km) north of the city, between Canton and Akron.
Public transportation is provided by SARTA, the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority.
Canton has one sister city: