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Adjacent to the cities of Westland and Wayne to the east, and touching Romulus in the southeast, Canton, Michigan is the eleventh most-populated municipality in the state.

Officially, Canton is the Charter Township of Canton, in which role it is the second most-populated township in Michigan. Due largely to its population, Canton is most often referred to as a city, however.

The chief routes through the city are I-275, US-12 (Michigan Avenue), and M-153 (Ford Road), and I-94 intersects with I-275 just south of the city, near Romulus. The city of Plymouth is 5.8 miles north, Belleville is 7.0 miles south, and Ypsilanti is 8.9 miles southwest of Canton. The city limits of Ann Arbor and Detroit are about eight miles from Canton.

European-American settlers from New England came to the area following the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, engaging in self-sustaining agriculture, which provided food and products that could be bartered for goods, services, or cash.

Now historic neighborhoods within Canton, the first communities to develop within the township were Cherry Hill and Sheldon, which were founded at approximately the same time.

Situated in the western part of the township, along Cherry Hill Road and Ridge Road, the Cherry Hill settlement began in 1825 and originally referred to as Ridge, which is the origin of Ridge Road, because it is on top of the ridge shore of an ancient lake. A post office was established on May 22, 1867, with Abner Hitchcock as postmaster. Closed on November 1, 1867, it was reopened on February 5, 1897, but closed again on September 15, 1908.

The first church in Canton was the Cherry Hill United Methodist Church, constructed in 1834. The Cherry Hill House, an inn operated by Abner Hitchcock in 1865, served as the post office. The Ypsi Creamery, located in Cherry Hill, operated until 1940, after which Henry Ford purchased the property and used it to house workers in his village industry program, which provided work for wounded or disabled World War II veterans. The Cherry Hill Historic District is made up of buildings facing Cherry Hill and Ridge roads, near their intersection, and includes the Cherry Hill House, the Cherry Hill United Methodist Church, Cherry Hill School, the Thomas and Maria Blackman Bartlett House, the Thomas and Isabella Moore Clyde House, and other farmhouses and associated buildings.

Originally known as Sheldon's Corners, Sheldon is in southern Canton, along US-12 west of I-275. The settlement was named for Perry Sheldon who, along with David Cady and Childs Downer, became the first settlers in that area in 1825. Timothy F. Sheldon built a Greek Revival home there which became the Sheldon Inn, serving travelers moving westward from Detroit. A post office operated there from January 24, 1852 to March 17, 1857, with Asa Parrish as the first postmaster, although the post office took the name of Canton.

The Township of Canton was formed by the Michigan Territorial Legislature from the southern portion of Plymouth Township on March 7, 1834, and named for the provincial capital of China, then known as Canton.

Plymouth-Canton Community Schools serves two-thirds of the northern portion of Canton and the majority of the township, while Wayne-Westland Community Schools serves the southeastern portion, and Van Buren Public Schools serves the southwestern portion.

The focal point of this guide is on the Charter Township of Canton, often referred to as the city of Canton, Michigan. Websites representing the municipality as well as businesses, industries, schools, places of worship, organizations, attractions, events, recreational programs and facilities, and sports teams and leagues in Canton.

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