From high atop Brewers Hill, the neon face of Mr. Boh looks down across the tops of rowhomes and warehouses to the waterfront along Boston Street. The famous Baltimore icon has a fantastic view of Canton, a happening hotspot in southeast Baltimore.

Once a booming hub of industry, Canton is now a trendy area for young urban professionals. Instead of foundries, warehouses and wharfs, you will now find a variety of restaurants, bars and nightclubs along the streets of Canton. The neighborhood is a melting pot -- a mixing of its industrial, blue-collar roots with the new "executive" face of the community. There is no better example of this blending than the American Can Company on Boston Street. Once a large canning facility, the rehabbed buildings now house chic restaurants and retailers and high-tech business.

A short trip down O'Donnell Street from the Can Company leads to O'Donnell Square. The center of the square was once an open-air public market but now serves as a small patch of green in the dense urban jungle. Surrounding the square are a multitude of bars and restaurants as well as a few retail shops. This area truly caters to the local nightlife, offering something for everyone, whether you're looking to have a beer, sip some wine or drink-til-you-drop. The popularity of the establishments are evident to anyone trying to find a parking spot nearby.

Although the nightlife is what defines Canton as it is today, it wasn't always this way. Canton was originally planned by the Canton Company (who developed and continue to develop the area) as an industrial center along Baltimore's harbor. Especially in the post-Civil War era, this was the purpose it served. The land that Canton stands on was purchased from John O'Donnell (for whom the street and square are named) for about $105,000, and it bears the name of the province in China from which O'Donnell was the first Baltimore man to import goods. The area yielded the first steam locomotive for the B&O railroad as well as the U.S.S. Constellation, both integral pieces of Baltimore history.

Now, industry has given way to renewal. Trendy refurbished waterfront condominiums along Boston Street are in-demand residences, including Tindeco Wharf, another former factory turned chic destination.

Rather than clashing, history and progress blend well to provide an experience that is uniquely Baltimore. Whether you're looking for a night out or a place to live, this neighborhood is a sure bet.
Location: Southeast Baltimore city

Boundaries: Eastern Avenue to the north, South Conkling Street to the east, Boston Street and the Bay to the west and southwest, and Cardiff Avenue to the south.

Schools: Canton Middle School, Hampstead Hill Elementary School, Bishop John Neumann Elementary School, Father Kolbe School

Highlights/Landmarks: American Can Company, Boston Street along the Waterfront, O'Donnell Square, Du Burns Arena

Trivia: The area got its name from the Canton (Guangzhou) province in China.