Canton is a historic waterfront neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. The area is along Baltimore’s outer harbor in the southeastern section of the city, roughly two miles east of Baltimore’s downtown district and next to or near the neighborhoods of Patterson Park, Fell’s Point, Highlandtown, and Brewers Hill. Canton is considered one of Baltimore’s trendiest and vibrant neighborhoods, known for its family-friendly community, urban lifestyle, and a hot spot for the social scene. The inclusive neighborhood continues to increase as more development opportunities emerge. Since the late 1990s, the area has undergone significant gentrification and has been ranked the 16th most-gentrified zip code in the nation from 2000 to 2016.
In 1785, Irish merchant and enslaver John O’Donnell settled in Baltimore after arriving on the ship “Pallas” from Calcutta and the Chinese port of Guangzhou, then called Canton by English speakers. When O’Donnell purchased land, he named his plantation Canton. At the beginning of the 19th century, O’Donnell’s land was sold off by his son Columbus O’Donnell, William Patterson, and Peter Cooper. The Canton Company developed it for the waterfront industry and blue-collar housing. On April 5th, 2021, after a successful campaign by neighborhood groups, O’Donnell’s statue was removed.
During the early 19th century, European immigrants settled in the area. Welsh immigrants, primarily workers from South Wales, began settling in Baltimore, MD, in large numbers in the 1820s. Welsh and Irish migrant workers composed a large portion of Baltimore’s working class during the early and mid-1800s. In 1850, a large community of copper workers from Wales settled in the neighborhood. These workers established a Presbyterian church in 1865, located on Toone Street in Canton. Subsequent groups of immigrants have included Germans, Poles, and Ukrainians. EZ Bed Bug Exterminator Baltimore
Canton’s traditional center is O’Donnell Square, a small park bordered on the north and south by O’Donnell Street, east by South Potomac Street, and on the west by Linwood Avenue. O’Donnell Square is home to several lively bars, restaurants, gift shops, salons, other small businesses, and residences. Canton is also immediately adjacent to Patterson Park, a popular nearby attraction for residents. In the 2000s, developments have added focus areas to the neighborhood, including the Canton Waterfront Park and Maryland Korean War Memorial, the rehabilitated American Can Company building, the Du Burns Soccer Arena, two marinas, a public boat launch, and new bars and restaurants. The Canton Dog Park, the first off-leash dog park in Baltimore, has been open for dog lovers since 2002.
The neighborhood is home to the many food and wine festivals, Light Night Canton, Baltimore’s annual Ukrainian-American festival, and summer concert series. It is a popular destination to view Baltimore Harbor July 4th fireworks. A premier shopping complex, The Shops at Canton Crossing, anchored by Target and Nordstrom Rack, has served residents since 2013. Notable churches in the area include St. Casimir (Roman Catholic) Church, built c. 1926, the St. Michael the Archangel Ukrainian Catholic Church, and the (Episcopal) Church on the Square. Enoch Pratt Free Library branch Canton’s branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore’s first and in operation since 1866, is centrally located on O’Donnell Square. A moored trash interceptor, the female-gendered Professor Trash Wheel (with appropriate googly eyes), can be found off the Boston Street Pier Park since December 2016.
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