Canton is a city in and the county seat of Van Zandt County in East Texas, United States. It is roughly 60 miles (97 km) east of Dallas, Texas. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 3,581. The city sustained severe damage on April 29, 2017, from several tornadoes, and two years later from another tornado that struck downtown on May 29, 2019.
Canton was surveyed as early as 1840 by a company of men under Dr. W. P. King. The community stands on the original survey of Jesse Stockwell, an early settler in the area. No settlement was made until 1850, when the town was laid out and named by settlers moving from Old Canton in Smith County, Texas. The first district courthouse at Canton opened in 1850, and a post office, the county's fourth, was established in that year.
When the Texas and Pacific Railway was built across the county in 1872, it missed Canton by 10 miles (16 km), and the citizens of Wills Point persuaded county officials to move the county seat there.