Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Canton is a very popular, trendy neighborhood in Baltimore. It is centered around O'Donnell Square which is home to several bars and restaurants as well as the very first branch of the Enoch Pratt Library which was opened in 1886 and has been in continual operation ever since.

Located in southeast Baltimore, bordered by the harbor on the south and Patterson Park on the North makes Canton an extremely attractive place to live. The neighborhood was created on the plantation of John O'Donnell by his son, Columbus and William Patterson. It was transformed into an industrial area with housing for the workers. This area became home to many Welsh, Irish, German and Polish immigrants in the 1900's.

There are so many great things to say about this neighborhood that I don't even know where to begin. First, there is the waterpark. There is the Canton Kayak Club at the waterpark. There is space there to just enjoy the views and the water. This is also where the water leg of the infamous Kinetic Sculpture Race takes place every spring. The waterfront is a funky mix of industrial and recreational areas. There are a few restaurants/bars on the water and there are rehabbed warehouses that have been turned into condos right on the water.

There is a dog park across the street where you can bring your pooch and let him off his leash.

There is also the Du Burns Arena where adults can join indoor winter sports league and which is also home to the Charm City Roller Girls roller derby team.

There is a mix of old and new in this neighborhood with new condos being built on empty lots, old warehouses turned into new livings spaces, and old rowhomes lovingly restored or renovated and modernized. This is also the neighborhood with rooftop decks, popular because of the harbor views and lack of usable outdoor space for barbecues and such. Canton was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. The neighborhood has become home to many young professionals but is still home to many people who have lived here all their lives. It is a very interesting mix and seems to work very well. You can still find painted screens which are unique to east Baltimore. They were originally intended to offer more privacy to the homeowner, especially before air conditioning, when we used to leave our windows open in hopes of a breeze in the sweltering summer months.

O'Donnell Square is the center of nightlife in Canton. My favorite restaurant here is the Claddagh Pub. It is an Irish Pub with a nice, white table clothed, quiet dining room attached. The food here is really good, I like the Chesapeake Chicken. There are other fine restaurants including Nacho Mamas which is festive, popular and serves Mexican food. O'Donnell Square is an actual park, there are statues, park benches and trees, but most people think of nightlife when they think of this place.

To the north is Patterson Park. This is actually a separate neighborhood so you will have to wait for the p's to learn more about it, but is a very large park and is just another advantage to living in Canton. Also on Eastern Avenue is Matthew's Pizza which has the very best pizza in Baltimore.

This is the neighborhood where NJG lived when I first met him. I have many fond memories of time spent here.
The average price of a home sold in Canton in 2007 was $311,078.