Personal and social opportunity is abundant in Canaan. 
You can grow, prosper and flourish here.

Canaan is a diverse community of families, working people and retirees that epitomize the historical concept of a small self reliant New England town. There is little artifice, just an authentic sense of community.

Explore Canaan’s Opportunities

Education opportunities are excellent and available to all ages.

Canaan has a national award winning elementary school with 216 students and 51 staff. 

The Town hosts an extensive Middle and High School with a $30 million dollar physical plant and 121 educators and staff serving 694 students.

Mascoma Valley’s theatre program as well as sports and art are very popular and teachers readily engage with their students with great community support. 

Cardigan Mountain School, organized in 1945 and located on Canaan Street Lake, is a well respected private boarding and day school for boys with an education and development program for grades 6 through 9.

More than 121 staff educates about 200 students each year.

Nearby Dartmouth College and River Valley Community College as well as Geisel School of Medicine are excellent learning resources.

Live every day looking at and appreciating history.

History is evident throughout our Town and creates a great opportunity to ground yourself in 250 years of history, celebrate the majesty of history and observe the impact of history on today’s Canaan. Canaan was created by charter in 1761 with a core community that bordered Canaan Street Lake.

The Canaan Historic District encompasses eighty-seven mostly Greek Revival and Federal Era historic buildings. The focal point of this unique community is the 1796 original Meeting House, the 1838 Union Academy and the Meeting House Common.

Canaan still exhibits evidence of a strong 19th century manufacturing community, stores and shops, and the arrival of the railroad from Boston.

The Town also has evidence of complete destruction of the East Canaan Village by fire in 1923 and proved itself to be resilient by rebuilding the Village in less than two years. 

The spirit lives on through donations and community investment.

Use your talents to create, serve, inspire, heal and love what you do

Trades people, artists, farmers, loggers and professionals are a great opportunity in Canaan for both people to join and people seeking their services.

tractor and baled hay

Canaan includes builders, plumbers, electricians, mechanics, and artists in a variety of media, as well as science innovators and medical professionals. Restaurants and small groceries are also present in the Town.

logging grapple

Participate in and use social gatherings and services in Canaan

The community is a wealth of service opportunity.

There are seven faith groups in Canaan serving a variety of faiths.

The Mascoma Senior Center provides services including meals, education and counseling to our senior residents.

Lions, Masons, Mount Cardigan Fish & Game Club and the American Legion as well as special groups like the Upper Valley Aero Modelers also encourage people with diverse interests to gather together. Volunteers are welcome at the Friends of Canaan Village, Listen Community Services, the Cardigan Mountain Arts Association, Bird and Garden Club, and 4-H.

The Town is home to the Mascoma Community Health and Dental Center that serves 5,000 patients. The Mascoma Friends Foundations raises funds to support a variety of causes including Friends feeding Friends (a local food pantry and community service organization).

Enjoy hobbies and relax in a wealth of recreation.

People of all ages can become involved in recreation opportunities. These include hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, swimming, birding, exploring 10,000 acres of forest land,  snowmobiling, volunteering, cross country skiing, mountain climbing, photography, sports car, kart, motorcycle, and motocross racing,  polo, jogging, exercise groups, hobbyists, and organized recreation programs for all ages.

Adult softball and youth little league are available. There are many Village events including July readings, the summer music series on the Village Common, Farmers Market, Christmas in Canaan, Craft Fairs, Halloween Pumpkin Carving, Old Home Days and Town wide yard sales.

man batting

Also available are many theatre, art, renowned speakers, writers and music events about 20 miles away in the Lebanon, White River, and Hanover area.

Be part of the service and governance of your town.

There are many opportunities to become in involved with Town fire and ambulance services, recreation, and Town leadership – managing Town finances and planning for its future.

You can serve with the Historical Society Board, Library Trustees or the Meeting House Preservation Committee. Bring you experience and your voice to help the community.

Opportunities to meet and become friends with your neighbors


Opportunities to be proud of your community.

Goal 1:
Strengthen what we have

  • Get more customers
  • Advertising, Hours, Word of Mouth, Reputation
  • Learn from each other & people who have done it
  • Shared services
  • Increased efficiency
  • Lower costs = utilities, taxes, health, workers compensation
  • Better communications and advertising
  • Higher wages/greater profit
  • Capital for expansion – Other town resources

Goal 4:
Increase service trades

  • Create real-world training programs for adults and youth
  • Shared support services – telephone, scheduling, advertising, shop areas, acceptance of deliveries, bookkeeping, estimates, package bids etc.
  • One-Stop shopping for plumbing, electrical, carpentry, heating etc.
  • Employ people with mechanical and physical skills
  • Coop education

Goal 7:

  • All human endeavor flows from someone wanting to do something
  • Most great ideas have resulted from a need and the use of imagination to meet the need
  • Many insoluble problems have been solved by peeling the onion to find out why the problem exists and the real core issues – keep asking why
  • The lack of resources can often be overcome by finding a different way to do things
  • All boats rise with a rising tide – well compensated employees spend money that drives business that hires employees
  • Believing means you are still trying – Despair means no belief in a better future

Goal 2
Increase the volume of commercial activity

  • Increase traffic of visitors to Canaan – Organize events that draw outsiders into Canaan – Website
  • Increase business from people who sleep here but work elsewhere
  • Identify what people want from their “Village”
  • Develop way to market goods and services from rural parts of Canaan in the Village
  • Village retail for rural products, activities in rural areas
  • Develop new commercial venues in Canaan – fill existing venues
  • Village cellular & broadband

Goal 5:
Coordinate Activity

  • Knowing what’s being planned means you can make better decisions and adjust your plans
  • Working together to solve problems that are common to many businesses means stronger solutions
  • Learning is easier if you are communicating together
  • Coordination of events means more businesses take advantage of an influx of potential customers
  • One person may have just what another needs
  • Maximize usefulness of limited resources
  • Coordination means we are more likely to avoid unintended consequences

Goal 3:
Increase light industry

  • Employ people with mechanical and physical skills
  • Develop sites for light industry
  • Land, water, sewer, permitting, fire protection, electricity, roads, buildings, training, transport
  • Fund development – directly or indirectly
  • Manage taxes during start-ups
  • Recruit light industry
  • Secure funding for local or regional light industry
  • Closed loop contracting

Goal 6:
Develop people in Canaan

  • Improve training opportunities
  • Partner with community college, VOTECH center, High School and businesses
  • Create real-world training programs for adults and youth
  • Motivate youth and adults to learn – Kids see the need for life long learning, why learning is important, why math and read is important, and how it is used. Adults who want to learn new skills are an inspiration to kids and build pride for adults.
  • Higher wages and increased profits improve the local standard of living and fuel new purchases
  • Training and employing people with mechanical and physical skills allows people to contribute to their greatest ability
  • Coop education supports students and businesses