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Little Canada, Minnesota

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Little Canada, Minnesota

Little Canada, Minnesota
Flag of Little Canada, Minnesota
Nickname(s): Little Canada
Location of the city of Little Canadawithin Ramsey County, Minnesota
Location of the city of Little Canada
within Ramsey County, Minnesota
Country United States
State Minnesota
County Ramsey
 • Type Minnesota Statutory City
 • Mayor John Keis
 • Council Member Rick Montour
 • Council Member Michael McGraw
 • Council Member Tom Fischer
 • Council Member Christian Torkelson
 • Total 4.48 sq mi (11.60 km2)
 • Land 3.89 sq mi (10.08 km2)
 • Water 0.59 sq mi (1.53 km2)
Elevation 912 ft (278 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 9,773
 • Estimate (2013[3]) 10,102
 • Density 2,512.3/sq mi (970.0/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 55109, 55117
Area code(s) 651
FIPS code 27-37502
GNIS feature ID 0646773[4]

Little Canada is a city in Ramsey County, Minnesota, United States. It is an inner ring suburb of the Twin Cities. The population was 9,773 at the 2010 census.[5]


  • History 1
    • Canadian Ties 1.1
    • Sister cities 1.2
  • Geography 2
  • Demographics 3
    • 2010 census 3.1
    • 2000 census 3.2
  • Government 4
  • Education 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


In 1844, French Canadian settler Benjamin Gervais moved north from Saint Paul to claim land in order to build the first grist mill in Minnesota that was independent from the government. Today, the large lake on the east side of Little Canada bears his name (Lake Gervais). The grist mill was converted into a park, which is recognized as the birthplace of the city. Little Canada began as the township of New Canada in 1858. In the 1950s the township was threatened by the suburban sprawl of the ensuing larger communities that were formed, such as Maplewood. In 1953, the city leaders came together and established the village of Little Canada. It became a city in 1974.

Canadian Ties

The city displays the Canadian influence in its history in several ways. Its official symbol is an initial LC on a white fleur-de-lis with a red Maple Leaf background, and the Flag of Canada is displayed in council chambers.[6]

The city itself also hosts an annual celebration named Canadian Days in early August with its sister city Thunder Bay, Ontario, in Canada.

Sister cities


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.48 square miles (11.60 km2), of which 3.89 square miles (10.08 km2) is land and 0.59 square miles (1.53 km2) is water.[1]

Interstate Highway 35E, Interstate Highway 694, and Minnesota Highway 36 are three of the main routes in the city. Nearby places include Maplewood, Roseville, Shoreview, Vadnais Heights, White Bear Lake, and Saint Paul.

Little Canada has a number of parks and trails, including Pioneer Park, Spooner Park, Gervais Mill Park, Nadeau Wildlife Park, and the upcoming Veterans Memorial Park.[7][8]


2010 census

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 9,773 people, 4,393 households, and 2,361 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,512.3 inhabitants per square mile (970.0/km2). There were 4,689 housing units at an average density of 1,205.4 per square mile (465.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 74.6% White, 6.6% African American, 0.5% Native American, 13.1% Asian, 2.7% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.8% of the population.

There were 4,393 households of which 24.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.7% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 46.3% were non-families. 37.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.96.

The median age in the city was 39.7 years. 19.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 10.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.4% were from 25 to 44; 29.3% were from 45 to 64; and 14.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.8% male and 52.2% female.

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 9,771 people, 4,375 households, and 2,393 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,445.8 people per square mile (943.2/km²). There were 4,471 housing units at an average density of 1,119.1 per square mile (431.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 85.38% White, 4.20% African American, 0.58% Native American, 6.68% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.90% from other races, and 2.25% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.29% of the population.

There were 4,375 households out of which 26.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.6% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.3% were non-families. 36.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the city the population was spread out with 22.1% under the age of 18, 11.0% from 18 to 24, 31.2% from 25 to 44, 22.8% from 45 to 64, and 12.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 91.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $46,609, and the median income for a family was $61,082. Males had a median income of $41,205 versus $31,689 for females. The per capita income for the city was $25,624. About 4.6% of families and 5.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.2% of those under age 18 and 3.4% of those age 65 or over.


Little Canada is a Minnesota "Plan-A" (Council/Administrator) statutory city with a five-member council including the mayor. Little Canada elects its mayor every two years in each statewide general election. Council Members are elected at-large in a staggered cycle, two every two years. Terms are four years and also occur during statewide general elections.


John Keis is the current mayor of Little Canada. Keis a longtime community member is a Senior Technology Lead with Ameriprise Financial. Keis served on the Council from 2006 to 2014. Prior to that he served on the Planning Commission from 1991 to 2004. He was elected after running unopposed in the 2014 election and succeeded Bill Blesener, who died on December 21, 2014.[11] Blesener died of cancer at the age of 74, and had served as mayor from 2005 until his death.

City Council[12]

  • Rick Montour
  • Michael McGraw
  • Tom Fischer
  • Christian Torkelson

Rick Montour joined the Council in 2001 after serving on the Planning Commission from 1996 to 2000.

Michael McGraw was appointed by the former mayor, Blesener, after overriding a 2–2 vote by the city council members. McGraw assumed his position after a previous council member died before he could assume office.

Tom Fischer and Christian Torkelson, who began their terms in 2015, won office after prevailing in a seven way race for two open at-large council seats in the 2014 general election. The seats were vacated by former council member Shelly Boss who decided to retire from the council, and John Keis who ran for mayor.

Tom Fischer comes to the council with over ten years of experience serving on the Planning Commission, most recently serving as the Chair. Fischer ran with the endorsement of the outgoing mayor Bill Blesener. Fischer earned the largest share of votes in the 2014 general election with 22.41% of ballots cast, winning the first council seat.

Christian Torkelson, a 25-year-old IT Professional and relative unknown in Little Canada prior to 2014, ran a successful dark horse campaign with a heavy citizen engagement focus. Torkelson clinched the second council seat, with 21.14% of the ballots cast.

Other contenders in the 2014 Little Canada municipal election include (in finishing order):

  • Kevin Keenan - A Little Canada Fire Department volunteer firefighter.
  • Jeff Heikke - A Little Canada Parks Commission member.
  • Rocky Waite - A local veterans and environmental activist.
  • Andrew Henderson - A civil liberties and government accountability activist.
  • Jon Joriman - A local youth league coach and active community member.


Little Canada is served mostly by the Roseville Area School District (ISD 623) with a small section of the city north of Interstate 694 served by the White Bear Lake School District. The two schools within city limits are Little Canada Elementary and Roseville Area Middle School.

See also


  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010".  
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  3. ^ a b "Population Estimates".  
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names".  
  5. ^ "2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census. Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  6. ^ Scrivener, Leslie (2007-07-01 ( 
  7. ^ "Little Canada Parks Map" (PDF). City of Little Canada. Retrieved 2 March 2015. 
  8. ^ "Veterans Memorial". City of Little Canada. Retrieved 2 March 2015. 
  9. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  10. ^  
  11. ^
  12. ^ Minnesota Secretary of State 

External links

  • Little Canada, MN – Official Website
  • – Newspaper siteReviewThe
  • Friends of Gervais Creek and Mill Pond – Park Volunteer Organization
  • Ramsey County Historical Society

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