Canton is a charter township in Michigan and a suburb of Detroit only 20 minutes east of Ann Arbor. With an estimated population of 86,539 (2006), the city is one of Michigan's fastest growing communities and was the nation's 20th safest municipality from 2003-2006. The township of Canton was created by an act of the Michigan Territorial Legislature on March 7, 1834 out of what had been Plymouth Township. It was named after the city of Canton in China and chosen for the purpose of not conflicting with the name of any post office in existence at the time.
There are two historical sections of the township that have undergone restoration and revitalization. These are Sheldon or Sheldon's Corners and Cherry Hill Village, which is the site of a new urbanist neighborhood with architecture that is supposed to be reminiscent of what Canton was like a hundred years ago. It is now the site of a theatre, the Village Theater and is rapidly evolving into the center of "downtown" retail and cultural arts. The arts have long been an important part of life in the Canton community. Over recent years, they have come to the forefront even more with the birth of The Village Theater at Cherry Hill. Here you can find everything from public art and musical performances to live theater, art exhibitions and more. It offers opportunities for all ages to experience the joy of many styles of music, the magic of live theater, the thrill of dance, the fine art exhibitions, classes in all the arts, and many other cultural events.
Canton is host to a variety of events, concerts and performances throughout the year for all ages and interests. The city also celebrates and supports its ethnic and immigrant citizens with several programs for new Americans like English classes and social gatherings. There is also the Leisure Club Night on the Town, where participants have the opportunity to spend some time with friends. This event takes place on a regular basis at different Canton restaurants and clubs.