Canal Winchester is a city in Fairfield and Franklin counties in the U.S. state of Ohio. The population was 7,101 at the 2010 census. 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. 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.
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 out 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.