North Canton has a rich history, one that has encouraged growth both in the city and surrounding areas.
The Community of North Canton first began as the Village of New Berlin in 1831. The first 23 lots were established at an angular intersection of Market Street, now called Main Street, and Portage Street. New Berlin was the first village to be plotted in Plain Township, one of the original townships created when Stark County was organized in March of 1809. Even though the residents were primarily of German descent, they decided, during World War I, that the community’s name needed to be changed. In January of 1918, New Berlin became known as North Canton.
Before this time, in 1873, William H. “Boss” Hoover had moved his tannery business from the family farm east of town to the center of the village. There he ran a successful leather business until 1919, when the decision was made to devote full efforts to the manufacturing of vacuum cleaners. By 1933, the Hoover Company was the world’s largest manufacturer of vacuum cleaners.
The Hoovers helped to shape the community of North Canton in a variety of ways. The first community building was a gift, in 1923, by “Boss” Hoover to the citizens of North Canton. Mr. Hoover also helped to establish the library. The financing of Memorial Stadium, which was dedicated in 1946, was also made possible because of The Hoover Company. Because of its strong support, it was only fitting that the school built in 1957 be named Hoover High School. The High School has since been rebuilt on 7th Street in North Canton.
Transportation changes have also impacted the community. Beginning in 1901, Main Street was the location of the Interurban Line which ran between Canton and Akron. In 1914, the street was paved in brick, and soon the streetcar lines were replaced by automobile traffic. In 1946, North Canton gained the convenience of a new airport now called Akron-Canton Regional Airport, which was built west of town. By 1966, transportation convenience was also improved with the completion of the northern section of I-77 between Canton and Akron. Each of these changes encouraged growth.
North Canton has a rich history, one that has encouraged growth both in the city and surrounding areas. It is because of this history, and the firm economic foundation which it has provided, that North Canton will continue to be a successful, desirable community in which to live.
Ever since the Hoovers moved their fledgling leather business to the heart of North Canton (formerly known as New Berlin) in 1873, it has been the hub of the North Canton industrial community. The Hoover Company has prospered world-wide in its manufacture of vacuum cleaners. In the Fall of 2007 (one year short of 100 years of continuous operation) the Hoover Company, owned by TTI, ceased operations in North Canton and the property was then sold.
IRG (Industrial Realty Group) is the current owner of the Hoover property and through its local company, Maple Street Commerce, IRG is repurposing the property through multi-use development. The Hoover property is the Northeast section of the square of North Canton, with a dominant presence on Main Street. It's architecture of red brick and white-trimmed windows with a deep front lawn disguises the manufacturing environment that was once inside.
Many other companies that took root in North Canton and the adjoining industrial parks have also grown to nationwide proportions. Diebold, Inc. which employs over 700 locally, is a world leader in the manufacturing and sales of automatic bank teller machines (ATM's) and they have introduced them all around the world. Other North Canton area employers of note are Walsh University, Portage Electric, ASC Industries, Wilkof-Morris Steel, Alpha Enterprises, Suarez Corporation, GE Capital, Harry London's Candies, Kohler Coating Machinery Corp, Lectrotherm Inc., Liquid Control Corp., Paarlo Plastics Inc., Seco Machine, Sun States Plastics, Xcel Mold & Machine, Xpress Print Inc., and many more.
North Canton also thrives on many dedicated smaller and family owned businesses.
The foreign trade zone with full abatement powers, creates an exciting environment and opportunities for future economic growth in the area. Foreign or domestic material or merchandise may be moved into the FTZ without being subject to U.S. Customs Duties on the merchandise. With world trade increasing at breakneck speed, companies interested in competing in the global markets are encouraged to investigate the advantages of relocating to the North Canton Area.
The Stark Development Board, Inc. is a non-profit corporation engaged in economic development activities in Stark County. Their mission is to retain, expand, and attract business investment in the area. SDB coordinates its services and activities with all the Chamber of Commerce in Stark County.
The environment for manufacturing as well as small business start-ups and expansion is very positive in North Canton, Ohio.