Canandaigua (city), New York

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This article is about the city. For the town, see Canandaigua (town), New York. For the lake, see Canandaigua Lake.
Downtown Canandaigua, NY.jpg
View north along Main Street, 2014
Name origin: "Ganandogan", Tuscarora for "the chosen spot"
Country USA
State New York
Region Finger Lakes
County Ontario
Center City Hall
 - elevation 750 ft (229 m)
 - coordinates 42°53′15″N 77°16′54″W / 42.88750°N 77.28167°W / 42.88750; -77.28167Coordinates: 42°53′15″N 77°16′54″W / 42.88750°N 77.28167°W / 42.88750; -77.28167
Highest point East Street near city's NE corner
 - elevation 840 ft (256 m)
 - coordinates 42°54′21″N 77°16′25″W / 42.90583°N 77.27361°W / 42.90583; -77.27361
Lowest point Canandaigua Lake shore
 - elevation 690 ft (210 m)
Area 4.8 sq mi (12 km2)
 - land 4.6 sq mi (12 km2)
 - water 0.2 sq mi (1 km2)
Population 10,545 (2010)
Density 2,197 / sq mi (848 / km2)
Incorporation as village 1815
 - Incorporation as city 1913
Government Council-Manager
 - location City Hall
Mayor Ellen Polimeni (D)
City Manager David Forrest[disambiguation needed]
Timezone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - summer (DST) Eastern Daylight Time (UTC-4)
ZIP Codes 14424, 14425
Area code 585
FIPS code 36-12144
GNIS feature ID 0945739
Location of Canandaigua within the state of New York
Wikimedia Commons: Canandaigua (city), New York
Website: City of Canandaigua

Canandaigua /ˌkænənˈdɡwə/ (Utaʼnaráhkhwaʼ[1] in Tuscarora) is a city in Ontario County, New York, United States. The population was 10,545 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Ontario County although some administrative offices are located at the county complex in the adjacent town of Hopewell.[2][3] The name Canandaigua is derived from the Seneca name spelled variously Kanandarque, Ganondagan, Ga-nun-da-gwa, or in a modern transcription, tganǫdæ:gwęh, which means "the chosen spot", or "at the chosen town".[4]

The city lies within the Town of Canandaigua. The City of Canandaigua is located on the northern end of Canandaigua Lake, 24 miles (39 km) southeast of Rochester and 58 miles (93 km) west of Syracuse. Parts of six neighboring towns also share the Canandaigua mailing address and 14424 ZIP code.



Built on the site of a Seneca Iroquois village, Canandaigua was an important railroad junction and home port for several steamboats by the mid-19th century. After the Civil War, local industries included two brick works, the Lisk Manufacturing Company, several mills, and the regionally prominent McKechnie Brewery. The shire town of the original county of western New York, Canandaigua was the site of the Susan B. Anthony trial in 1873. Today, the town is a center for business, government, health care, and education. Canandaigua is the home of Constellation Brands, founded as Canandaigua Wine Company; Finger Lakes Community College; Thompson Health System; the Constellation Brands-Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center (CMAC); Granger Homestead; The Canandaigua Lady Paddle wheel tour boat; and Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park. It is also home to one of the largest Wegmans Food Markets[citation needed] and the New York Wine & Culinary Center.


The city was the site of a village of the Seneca, Kanandaigua. It was located on West Avenue where the West Avenue Cemetery is today.

The region was visited by the explorers Robert de La Salle and René de Bréhant de Galinée in 1669 during which time they observed a burning spring known to the Seneca in the nearby Town of Bristol.[5] Such springs occur in places where water appears to support a flame caused by escaping natural gas, and several have been noted in the Canandaigua area.[6][7]

The Seneca village consisted of twenty-three longhouses and was destroyed by the Sullivan Expedition on September 10, 1779.[8]

The city public high school, Canandaigua Academy, was founded in 1791.

On November 11, 1794, the Treaty of Canandaigua was signed in the town. The treaty was constructed in hopes of establishing peace and friendship between the United States of America and the Six Nations of the Iroquois and is still recognized by the federal government today.

What is now the City separated from the Town of Canandaigua to become the Village of Canandaigua in 1815 and a city in 1913.

In 1807-1808, Jessie Hawley, a flour merchant from Geneva, New York, who became an early and major proponent of building of the Erie Canal, spent 20 months in the Canandaigua debtors' prison; during this time he published fourteen essays on the idea of building the canal that were to prove immensely influential.[citation needed]

Illinois senator and 1860 Democratic Party presidential candidate Stephen A. Douglas spent three years as a student at Canandaigua Academy between 1830 and January 1833.[9]

In 1873, women's rights activist Susan B. Anthony was tried in the Ontario County Courthouse, located in the City of Canandaigua, for voting. She was found guilty and fined $100, which she did not pay.[10]

In 1945, Canandaigua Wine Company was founded by Marvin Sands. The company underwent rapid expansion through acquisitions in the 1980s and 1990s. It joined other companies in forming Constellation Brands and became the world's largest wine and spirits distributor. In 2006, Canandaigua Wine Company rebranded as Centerra Wine Co., a subsidiary of Constellation Wines, U.S., Inc.[11]

On March 14, 2006, President George W. Bush came to Canandaigua and spoke at Canandaigua Academy, and at Ferris Hills, an assisted living community for seniors. The focus of this visit was to talk about Medicare Part D for senior citizens.[12] The text of his speech at Ferris Hills can be found here.


According to the United States Census Bureau, Canandaigua has a total area of 4.8 square miles (12.5 km²), of which 4.6 square miles (11.9 km²) is land and 0.2 square mile (0.6 km²) (4.75%) is water.

The city is at the northern end of Canandaigua Lake, in the Finger Lakes region, the largest wine producing area in New York State.

The city is located on U.S. Route 20 and NY Routes 5 and 21.


Climate data for Canandaigua
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 34
Daily mean °F (°C) 27
Average low °F (°C) 18
Average precipitation inches (mm) 1.811
Source: [13]


Ontario County Courthouse

As of the census of 2010, there were 10,545 people, 4,789 households, and 2,470 families residing in the city.[14]

As of the census[15] of 2000, there were 11,264 people, 4,762 households, and 2,666 families residing in the city in the year 2000 census. The population density was 2,447.5 people per square mile (945.4/km²). There were 5,066 housing units at an average density of 1,100.8 per square mile (425.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.04% White, 1.53% Black or African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.66% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.26% from other races, and 1.23% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.02% of the population.

There were 4,762 households out of which 27.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.7% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.0% were non-families. 35.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.95.

A pale-yellow two-story building, seen from the side, with a classically-styled colonnade on the front underneath a small domed cupola
City Hall

In the city the population was spread out with 23.3% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 22.0% from 45 to 64, and 18.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 91.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $37,197, and the median income for a family was $47,388. Males had a median income of $31,950 versus $26,538 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,153. About 5.9% of families and 9.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.9% of those under age 18 and 8.9% of those age 65 or over.

Culture and landmarks[edit]

  • Sonnenberg Mansion and Gardens, a Victorian mansion and 50 acres (200,000 m²) of gardens, is now a state historic park and is open to the public after payment of an admission fee from May through mid-October.
  • The New York Wine & Culinary Center, hosting a variety of exhibits, programs and classes focusing on New York State wine and agriculture products, opened in 2006 in downtown Canandaigua.[16]
  • Kershaw Beach at the north end of Canandaigua Lake (on Lakeshore Drive) is open to the public for a small fee.[17]
  • At 116 Gorham Street is located one of the relatively few[citation needed] remaining Octagon Houses in New York, popular for a time in the state.[18]
  • Every year just outside of the city, in the town of Hopewell, New York a steam fair called the Pageant of Steam is held in August.
  • On the campus of Finger Lakes Community College (partially located in the town of Hopewell, New York) is the Constellation Brands-Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center.
  • Canandaigua Farmer's Market is located in the Beeman and Lafayette St. Parking Lot and runs from June–October.[19]
  • The Canandaigua Lady is a double-decker paddle wheel boat and steamboat replica that offers public cruises on Canandaigua Lake from May–October.[20]
  • Canandaigua hosts several festivals and large events throughout the year such as the Finger Lakes Riesling Festival, Waterfront Art Festival, Canandaigua Art and Music Festival, LakeMusic Festival, Festival of Trees at the Granger Homestead and Carriage Museum, Christkindl Market, and the Finger Lakes Plein Air Festival.[21]

National Register of Historic Places[edit]

Within the City of Canandaigua, the following buildings, properties and districts are listed on the National Register of Historic Places:

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rudes, B. Tuscarora English Dictionary Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999
  2. ^ Google Maps (3019 County Complex Drive, Canandaigua, New York), Retrieved Jan. 14, 2015.
  3. ^ Ontario County, New York, Retrieved Jan. 14, 2015.
  4. ^ Bright, William (2004). Native American placenames of the United States. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 79. ISBN 978-0-8061-3598-4. Retrieved 11 April 2011. 
  5. ^ Milliken, Charles F. (1911). A History of Ontario County, New York and Its People, Volume 1. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. pp. 229–230. Retrieved January 20, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Burning Springs". Retrieved January 20, 2015. 
  7. ^ The Northern Traveller, and Northern Tour, with the routes to the Springs, Niagara, and Quebec, and the coal mines of Pennsylvania; also, the tour of New-England. 4th ed. New York: J. & J. Harper. 1830. p. 117. Retrieved January 20, 2015. 
  8. ^ Hardenbergh, John Leonard; Hawley, Charles; Beatty, Erkuries; Grant, Thomas; Dearborn, Henry (1879). Clark, John S., ed. The Journal of Lieut. John L. Hardenbergh: Of the Second New York Continental Regiment from May 1 to October 3, 1779, in General Sullivan's Campaign Against the Western Indians. Knapp & Peck. pp. 48–49. Retrieved January 20, 2015. 
  9. ^ Johannsen, Robert Walter (1997). Stephen A. Douglas. University of Illinois Press. pp. 12–14. ISBN 9780252066351. Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  10. ^ # ^ Linder, Douglas: "The Trial of Susan B. Anthony for Illegal Voting," University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, at
  11. ^ "Centerra Wine Company, Inc.: Private Company Information". BusinessWeek. Retrieved January 20, 2015. 
  12. ^ David Green (March 15, 2006). "President Goes Local with Trip to New York". Retrieved January 20, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Monthly Averages for Canandaigua, NY (14424)". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 17 April 2012. 
  14. ^ American FactFinder. Retrieved on 2013-08-02.
  15. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  16. ^ Thomas Pellechia (September 2006). "N.Y. Wine & Culinary Center Opens In Finger Lakes". Retrieved January 20, 2015. 
  17. ^ Kershaw Swim Beach - Canandaigua, New York. Retrieved on 2013-08-02.
  18. ^
  19. ^ Canandaigua Farmers Market. Canandaigua Farmers Market. Retrieved on 2013-08-02.
  20. ^
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External links[edit]