Canton- a Rapidly Gentrified Neighborhood and one of Baltimore’s most Popular

Canton’s development goes back to the early 19th century as mostly Welsh immigrants, followed by the Irish in the 1840s began settling in Baltimore in large numbers. Subsequent groups of immigrants included Germans, Poles and Ukrainians. Most houses in Canton are turn-of-the-20th-century rowhouses bit many  homes closer to the waterfront date from before the Civil War. With the de-industrialization of the neighborhood in the 1990s the neighborhood’s waterfront was redeveloped into new housing and marinas and the revitalization process worked its way gradually northward. Some metrics hold that between 2000 and 2016 Canton was the 16th most gentrified American neighborhood and now is considered  one of Baltimore’s trendiest and vibrant neighborhoods.

Brewer’s Hill development came later. First with the development of breweries in the 1880s, the most famous being the National Bohemian brand, known affectionately by locals as Natty Bo with the massive Mr. Boh sign hanging high above the old brewery. Most of the district’s rowhouses were built in the 1910s. Brewer’s Hill  also has seen significant revitalization since 2000.

I like both Canton and Brewer’s Hill but the neighborhood seems a bit over hyped by the locals. Yes there is good walkability here with quality public transit & bike access, great parks, decent schools, lots of brand name retail options, and tons of food and beverage businesses, but the neighborhood has some major holes, which elevate other Baltimore districts to a higher urban status in my mind. Canton/Brewer’s Hill lack locally run boutiques and creative stores, is very white and high income, often lacks good tree canopy and modern ADA curbs and is missing some major cultural amenities (i.e. art galleries, museums, and theaters). With more of these missing amenities I would feel more comfortable listing Canton/Brewer’s Hill as one of Baltimore’s top urban districts.

Click here to view my Canton and Brewer’s Hill Neighborhood on my Flickr Page

URBAN STRENGTHS:

*Solid urban density.
* Great access to Dwtn via all modes of transit.
* Good bike infrastructure with a decent # of dockless scooters and bikes.
* Pretty good generational and age diversity with a fair number of families with kids.
* Decent schools here with a well rated elementary school, a couple Catholic grade schools and two Catholic high schools.
* For sale housing leans higher end but good variety of times and prices. 1-beds are a mix of condos and rowhouses and sell anywhere btwn 150K-325K, 2-beds sell btwn 175K-600K, 3 & 4 beds sell btwn 225K-850K but a handful of more expensive homes.
* Good # of apartments especially in the large MF bldgs of Brewers Hill. Def on the pricey side but some moderately priced. 1 beds lease anywhere in the 1Ks, 2-beds 1.5K- the high 2Ks, 3-beds btwn 2K and the high 3Ks.
* Solid parks with the expansive Patterson Park sitting on the north park, several good waterfront parks, and a couple parkette’s spread throughout Canton.
* Solid cultural amenities includes lots of food & beverages biz, plenty of live music venues, and a couple bars host live music,
* Solid retail amenities including several supermarkets & drug stores, a target, several brand named stores clothing stores @Shops at Canton Crossing, hardware store, plenty of banks,  a couple of florists, public library, a game store, several dessert stores & gyms, and many churches.
* Attractive Historic rowhouses throughout, a bit more ornate in Canton than Brewer’s Hill. Urban Infill projects a generally good but some auto centric strip malls like Shops at Canton Crossing and a couple others.
* Streetscape is good but not spectacular and the commercial districts haven’t been redone in awhile.
* Very popular neighborhood in Baltimore.

URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* Consistent sidewalks but modern ADA curb cuts only make apt 1/3 of intersections.
* This is a high income largely white neighborhood so diversity is not Canton’s strong suite.
* So so tree cover. Better in Canton than Brewer’s Hill.
* Really no art galleries, museums, or theaters in the neighborhood.
* Few locally owned boutiques or gift shops. Also no book stores and no post offices but there are a couple nearby.
* A couple strip mall developments break up the generally good urban massing in the neighborhood.

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