Canton is the second largest town in Haywood County, North Carolina, United States. It is located about 13 miles (21 km) west of Asheville, North Carolina and is part of the Asheville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The town is named after the city of Canton, Ohio. Canton was the site of a Champion International Paper factory. Champion contributed largely to the local economy, and was the largest employer in Canton. Upon Champion's decision to close the plant in 1997, the employees of Champion purchased the plant and formed Blue Ridge Paper Company. Under an ESOP, the employees owned a 45% stake in the new company, although it has since been sold. The plant is now owned by Evergreen Packaging.