The establishment and growth of the Canton Public Library over the last 30 years has closely mirrored the development of Canton Township. Once a farming community known as the Sweet Corn Capital of Michigan, the township experienced phenomenal growth in the 1980s and 90s as its 36 square miles were booming with housing and industry development. According to the Canton Historical Society, in 1961 the population was 5,300. At that point, Canton incorporated into a charter township, one of the first in the state, and added police, fire and municipal services. By the 1980s, the population had exploded to 48,616 and continued expanding to today's count of nearly 90,000 people. SEMCOG predicts Canton's population will reach nearly 99,000 by 2035. A prime location between Detroit and Ann Arbor, near universities, hospitals and an international airport has helped Canton become a desirable community in metro Detroit and helped the Canton Public Library become the busiest single-branch library in the state.
For more of our 30th Anniversary celebration, check out 30 Absolutely Indispensible Items for Foodies: an Amazingly Idiosyncratic List.