Canton Cross was once the site of the largest market in South Wales.
Canton is an inner city district, situated to the West of Cardiff and the total population is around 15,000. The name Canton refers to the 6th Century female saint after who Pontcanna is also named, St Canna’s Town. St Canna is the holy matron in the Celtic age of Saintes and Canna is known to have been a relative of King Arthur. The defined area was formed around a 13th Century Manor in Cardiff and assumed lands from nearby Llandaff and Leckwith parishes under the stewardship of an Earl de Kanetune. Historically, from 1250, Canton Cross was the site of the largest market in South Wales. From 1853 St Johns Canton, became home to a large number of Irish families and in 1870 Atlas Engineering Works was built in Canton and offered a lot of new skilled jobs in the area. It was only in 1975 that the village of canton was incorporated as a district of the city of Cardiff. The traditional Canton Cross Common land has now been transformed from Cardiff City FC stadium and Cardiff International Sports Stadium. The last part of the market left is the Bessemer Road fruit market.
The area is one of the most ethnically diverse suburbs in Cardiff. Canton is too far for the student population of Cardiff and therefore the people that reside here are families and professionals. The main road through the district is Cowbridge Road East is the main artery of Canton, lined with shops, pubs and restaurants. Canton is home to Thompsons Park and Victoria Park as well as the education centre Llandover Hall and Chapter Arts centre which is house in the former building of Canton High School. Canton is famously known for its ‘Canton Mile’ consisting of several pubs that lead in to Cardiff City Centre, which is usually a popular choice for Hens and Stag nights out. Canton also sits next to the fashionable Pontcanna area, which is always well known for its wonderful restaurants.