Location in Norfolk County in Massachusetts
|• Type||Open town meeting|
|• Total||50.7 km2 (19.6 sq mi)|
|• Land||49.0 km2 (18.9 sq mi)|
|• Water||1.7 km2 (0.6 sq mi)|
|Elevation||30 m (100 ft)|
|• Density||440.0/km2 (1,140.8/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (Eastern)|
|GNIS feature ID||0619457|
Canton is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 21,561 at the 2010 census. Canton is part of Greater Boston, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) southwest of downtown Boston.
Canton was officially incorporated on February 23, 1797 from the town of Stoughton, Massachusetts. The name "Canton" was suggested by Elijah Dunbar and comes from the early belief that Canton, China was on the complete opposite side of the earth (antipodal), however this theory has been debunked.In addition to being a prominent Canton citizen, Elijah Dunbar was the first president of the Stoughton Musical Society from 1786 to 1808. Now named the Old Stoughton Music Society, it is the oldest choral society in the United States.
Paul Revere built the nation's first copper rolling mill in Canton in 1801. His poem entitled Canton Dale expresses his affection for the town. Canton was the location of the Rising Sun Stove Polish Company, founded by Elijah Morse, a wealthy merchant and creator of the pot-belly stove.
Canton is the headquarters of Dunkin' Donuts, Computershare (North American HQ), Organogenesis, Inc., Boston Mutual Life Insurance Company, Interpolymer Corporation, Casual Male Retail Group, and formerly, Tweeter. It is also home to the Massachusetts Division headquarters of the Salvation Army.
According to the Town's 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
|#||Employer||# of Employees|
|4||Destination XL Group||468|
|7||Pollak Engineering Products||288|
|8||Boston Mutual Life Insurance Company||256|
|9||Tower Group Companies||200|
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 19.6 square miles (51 km2), of which, 18.9 square miles (49 km2) of it is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2) of it (3.27%) is water.
Canton lies at the foot of Great Blue Hill. The Canton River flows through the center of the town, linking a chain of small lakes including Bolivar and Forge Ponds and flowing into the Neponset River. The Neponset River forms the boundary between Canton and its western neighbors: Norwood, Westwood, and Dedham. In addition to wooded land, the area includes wetlands, particularly in the eastern part along Route 138 near the Randolph and Stoughton borders, and in the western part along I-95.
|Climate data for Blue Hills Reservation (Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory), 1891−2010 normals, extremes 1885−present|
|Record high °F (°C)||68
|Average high °F (°C)||33.6
|Daily mean °F (°C)||25.7
|Average low °F (°C)||18.4
|Record low °F (°C)||−16
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||4.24
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||16.0
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||132.1||146.7||174.0||185.6||220.2||231.8||258.1||242.5||204.1||182.1||133.3||125.9||2,236.4|
|Percent possible sunshine||46.3||50.9||48.5||47.9||50.4||52.7||58.0||58.7||56.7||55.1||47.0||45.9||51.5|
|Source: Blue Hill Observatory & Science Center|
|* = population estimate. |
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.
As of the 2010  census, there were 21,561 people, 7,952 households, and 5,550 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,097.3 people per square mile (423.7/km2). There were 8,163 housing units at an average density of 431.1 per square mile (166.5/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 86.1% White, 6.96% African American, 0.05% Native American, 6.74% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.51% from other races, and 0.95% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.80% of the population. 83.3% of the population was non-Hispanic white in 2010, down from 98.0% in 1980.
There were 7,952 households, out of which 30.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.4% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.2% were non-families. 25.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.12.
In the town, the population was spread out, with 23.6% under the age of 18, 5.6% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45 to 64, and 16.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.2 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $109,260, and the median income for a family was $132,904. Males had a median income of $52,216 versus $40,755 for females. The per capita income for the town was $43,510. About 5.2% of families and 7.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.7% of those under age 18 and 9.5% of those age 65 or over.
The town of Canton has three public elementary schools: the John F. Kennedy School, Lt. Peter M. Hansen School, and Dean S. Luce School. The area in which one lives determines which elementary school one's children attend.
Canton has one public middle school, the William H. Galvin Middle School, where all of the three elementary schools combine. It provides grades 6-8 and is located next to the Lt. Peter M. Hansen Elementary School. Canton also has a public high school, Canton High School, that provides grades 9-12. There is one private school, St. John the Evangelist, which has been open since 1883 and serves students in grades Preschool-8. In addition, the state's Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital for Children, formerly known as the Massachusetts Hospital School, is in Canton. In addition, the Marilyn G. Rodman Educational and Administrative Center is located next to Canton High School, housing administrative buildings as well as a preschool.
Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech, formerly Clarke School for the Deaf, operates a satellite school, "Clarke Boston", in Canton for children who are diagnosed with deafness at an early age and then are mainstreamed to a public school. Clarke is the oldest school for the deaf in the country that teaches children to lip-read and speak orally, rather than use sign language; its main campus is located 80 miles to the west in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Canton has the open town meeting form of government. Annually each spring, and as necessary, the voters gather to discuss matters such as zoning, schools, public works, recreational facilities, the budget, taxes and bond issues.
Property taxes on residential and other land, buildings and improvements, and transfers from the state government, are two important sources of revenue for the town.
The five elected members of the Board of Selectmen oversee the day-to-day operations of the town government.
The Planning Board approves new town subdivisions, reviews site plans for commercial development, oversees the towns scenic ways, drafts and approves a town wide master plan, and statutorily provides recommendations to Town Meeting regarding zoning and development.
The Finance Committee studies the financial affairs of the town, advises and make recommendations to the Town Meeting on the budget and other areas with fiscal implications and serves as the fiscal watchdog for the voters.
Interstates 93, 95, and Massachusetts Route 128 diverge in Canton. I-93 goes east, then north into Boston, from which it continues north into New Hampshire. I-95 is locally a beltway that skirts Boston to the west, continues circling Boston until it is north of the city, then goes north through New Hampshire and ends in Maine. South of Canton, it leads to Providence, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York City, Washington, D.C. and ultimately to Miami, Florida.
Route 138 has a cloverleaf interchange with Route 93 in Canton near Great Blue Hill. From Canton, it goes north into Milton, then enters Boston in the Mattapan section. South of Canton, it travels to Stoughton, continuing into Rhode Island, through Newport and ending in southwest RI.
Route 24 is a divided, limited-access highway that originates at Route 93 in Randolph, just east of Canton. From there, it goes south through the easternmost corner of Canton, running roughly parallel to Route 138 as far as Portsmouth, Rhode Island.
MBTA commuter rail trains on the Providence/Stoughton Line pass through Canton. Some stop at Canton Junction. This line crosses the Neponset River on the Canton Viaduct, a prominent local landmark. Route 128 Station in neighboring Westwood also carries many Canton commuters into Boston. Amtrak trains (including the Acela Express high-speed trains) also stop at Route 128, but pass through Canton without stopping. Of note, on March 25, 2008 a runaway box car crashed into a MBTA train at Canton Junction station injuring 150 people on board.
Canton once had an airfield, but it closed down in 1970. Norwood Memorial Airport is the closest airport to Canton. For scheduled air service, residents go to Boston's Logan International Airport or to T. F. Green Airport in Rhode Island.
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