Canton is located in southwestern Bradford County at 41°39′21″N 76°51′3″W (41.655805, -76.850706), in the valley of Towanda Creek. It is surrounded by Canton Township but is a separate municipality.
Pennsylvania Route 14 passes through the borough, leading north 10 miles (16 km) to U.S. Route 6 in Troy and south 25 miles (40 km) to U.S. Route 15 at Trout Run. Pennsylvania Route 414 leaves east from the center of Canton, leading 21 miles (34 km) to U.S. Route 220 at Monroe, and follows PA-14 to the southwest out of town, then leading 17 miles (27 km) to US-15 at Liberty.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Canton has a total area of 1.2 square miles (3.0 km2), of which 0.004 square miles (0.01 km2), or 0.45%, is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,807 people, 758 households, and 475 families residing in the borough. The population density was 1,580.1 people per square mile (612.0/km²). There were 824 housing units at an average density of 720.5 per square mile (279.1/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 98.67% White, 0.33% African American, 0.11% Native American, 0.06% Asian, 0.06% from other races, and 0.77% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.33% of the population.
There were 758 households, out of which 31.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.3% were married couples living together, 13.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.3% were non-families. 34.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 18.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 3.01.
In the borough the population was spread out, with 27.4% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 20.1% from 45 to 64, and 18.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 87.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.1 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $26,848, and the median income for a family was $37,645. Males had a median income of $29,071 versus $23,804 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $13,537. About 13.7% of families and 15.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.0% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.
The local government of Canton Borough consists of an elected mayor and seven councilmen. There is a planning commission that consists of five members. In 2005, the borough adopted a joint comprehensive plan that includes Canton Township and Granville Township. The borough continues to use zoning ordinances that were adopted in 1976, and there is a zoning hearing board that consists of five members that handles new developments. The Bradford County Office of Planning and Grants handles all subdivisions and land developments.County level
Three County Commissioners, elected at largeState level
Matt Baker, state representative, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, District 68
Gene Yaw, state senator, Pennsylvania Senate, District 23
Tom Marino, Republican, Pennsylvania's 10th congressional district
Pat Toomey, US senator
Bob Casey, Jr., US senator (senior)
Residents of Canton may attend the local, public schools operated by the Canton Area School District which provides full-day kindergarten through 12th grade. The district's enrollment declined to 990 students in kindergarten through 12th grade in 2013. Canton Area School District ranked 416th out of 500 public schools for academic achievement of its pupils in 2013. High school aged students and adults in Canton can attend the publicly funded Northern Tier Career Center in Towanda for vocational training.
Canton residents may also apply to attend any of the Commonwealth's 14 public cyber charter schools (in 2013) at no additional cost to the parents. The resident's public school district is required to pay the charter school and cyber charter school tuition for residents who attend these public schools. By Commonwealth law, if the district provides transportation for its own students, then the district must provide transportation to any school that lies within 10 miles (16 km) of its borders. Residents may also seek admission for their school-aged child to any other public school district. When accepted for admission, the student's parents are responsible for paying an annual tuition fee set by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. In 2012, the tuition fees for Canton Area School District were: Elementary School - $8,868.09, High School - $9,442.14.
BLaST Intermediate Unit #17 provides a wide variety of services to children living in its region which includes the borough of Canton. Early screening, special educations services, speech and hearing therapy and many other services like driver education are available. Services for children during the preschool years are provided without cost to their families when the child is determined to meet eligibility requirements.
Community members have access to the Green Free Library in Canton and to the statewide PA Power Library, an online library funded with tax dollars from the state's education budget.Harry Davenport (1866–1949), famous film and stage actor with an acting career of over 76 years, was born in Canton, where he and his family lived regularly during the holidays. He played supporting roles in many film classics of the 1930s and 1940s and is perhaps best known as Dr. Meade in Gone with the Wind.
Mial Eben Lilley (1850–1915), Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives
Miller Albert Moyer (1922–2009), survivor (with Purple Heart) of the fierce World War II Battle of Anzio (Italy) Operation Shingle; coach of the Canton Warriors High School football team for 32 years, winning two District 4 titles. Their home field is named in his honor. In 1992, Mr. Moyer was inducted into the Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Hall of Fame.
Kelly Watts (1947-) Co-Founder of WKAD FM (now Wiggle 100) in 1978, host of syndicated music show The Class Reunion. Mayor of Canton 1994 to 1998.Joseph L. Townsend (August 9, 1849 – April 1, 1942) was a writer of many Latter-day Saint hymns. Townsend was born in Canton, Bradford County, Pennsylvania. He grew up in Ohio, Kansas and Missouri. Townsend studied at the University of Missouri. He came to Salt Lake City in 1872 to try to improve his health. While there, he joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Townsend later served as a missionary for the church in the Southern States Mission.