Canal Winchester was founded in 1828 by Reuben Dove and John Colman. When construction of the Ohio & Erie Canal came through Dove's wheat field, he wanted to sue the state. The canal workmen instead convinced him that he would be better off laying out a town, because the area was midway between Columbus and Lancaster. On November 4, 1828, Reuben Dove and John Colman recorded the first plat for Winchester, Ohio, in Violet Township, Fairfield County. Dove named the village after his father's hometown of Winchester, Virginia.
Winchester flourished because of agriculture and transportation. The Ohio and Erie Canal brought passengers, freight and a means to transport grain to market. The first canal boat floated through Winchester in 1831. In 1869, the railroad came to Canal Winchester, bringing continued prosperity.
The village was named Canal Winchester when the post office was established in 1841, because there was another village in the state with the name of Winchester.In local legend, there is a story of how Canal Winchester earned its post office. On Halloween, October 31st, 1841, two teenage boys, as a prank, hooked two horses up to the foundation of the post office of the town of Waterloo and then pulled it across the street to Winchester. With this, the town of Waterloo was no more and Winchester was a legitimate village. The village was annexed to Madison Township, Franklin County, in 1851. In May 1866, the Ohio Secretary of State granted incorporation papers for the Village of Canal Winchester.
Canal Winchester is located at 39°50′46″N 82°48′42″W (39.845977, -82.811675).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 7.61 square miles (19.71 km2), of which 7.47 square miles (19.35 km2) is land and 0.14 square miles (0.36 km2) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 7,101 people, 2,646 households, and 1,924 families residing in the village. The population density was 950.6 inhabitants per square mile (367.0/km2). There were 2,893 housing units at an average density of 387.3 per square mile (149.5/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 91.6% White, 5.1% African American, 0.1% Native American, 1.2% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.2% of the population.
There were 2,646 households of which 37.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.7% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 27.3% were non-families. 23.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.11.
The median age in the village was 39.7 years. 26.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.3% were from 25 to 44; 26.9% were from 45 to 64; and 14.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the village was 47.2% male and 52.8% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,478 people, 1,664 households, and 1,264 families residing in the village. The population density was 702.9 people per square mile (271.4/km²). There were 1,779 housing units at an average density of 279.2 per square mile (107.8/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 95.60% White, 2.19% African American, 0.38% Native American, 0.67% Asian, 0.04% from other races, and 1.12% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.51% of the population.
There were 1,664 households out of which 37.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.6% were married couples living together, 7.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.0% were non-families. 20.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.04.
In the village the population was spread out with 27.0% under the age of 18, 5.1% from 18 to 24, 30.2% from 25 to 44, 23.2% from 45 to 64, and 14.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 87.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.4 males.
The median income for a household in the village was $55,645, and the median income for a family was $67,833. Males had a median income of $39,123 versus $37,399 for females. The per capita income for the village was $24,394. About 1.2% of families and 2.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.0% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over.
Canal Winchester host the Labor Day Festival which usually takes place the first weekend of September. The town also host Christmas In The Village, which is a small festival with food, choirs, and horse-drawn buggie rides. During the first week of August the town usually does a rib fest.
Highlights of the area include: Historic Downtown Canal Winchester, Mid-Ohio Doll and Toy Museum, The National Barber's Museum and National Barber Hall of Fame, Slate Run Vineyard and Winery, and the many antique shops in the Village. Canal Winchester is also home to the Bergstresser bridge, which is the only standing wooden covered bridge in Franklin County.
Canal Winchester High School's mascot is the Indians, and their colors are maroon and white. The high school offers many college prep and AP courses. New elementary schools, a new wing of the high school, and a new junior high school have all been built since 2000. In athletics they are best known for their football, wrestling, basketball, cross country, cheerleading, and volleyball teams, all of which compete at the Division 2 level; and track, which competes at the Division 1 level. The baseball team has been back to back state runner-up from 2008-2009. In recent years the school has produced two Wendy's High School Heisman State Finalists in Greg Guiler and Andy Rhinehart, an award to the state's best high school student athletes. Also their soccer team have seen success with two district titles (2013, 2014) and one OCC Cardinal Division title in 2014. The school has also produced NBA player B. J. Mullens of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Also, the school has produced MLB player Drew Dosch, class of 2010, of the Baltimore Orioles.Songwriter Oley Speaks was a native of Canal Winchester, and the Canal Winchester Area Historical Society has a collection of his works.
NBA player Byron Mullens Graduated from Canal Winchester High School.
Television painter Robert Warren has his studio in an old carriage house on High Street.
Ed Jeffers, a long-time barber, founder of the National Barber Hall of Fame; Founder of the National Barber museum; member and director of the Ohio Barber Board.
Climate is characterized by relatively high temperatures and evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfa" (Humid Subtropical Climate).