Why We Moved to Canal Winchester: Attractive Historic Downtown, Things for All Ages

This couple enjoys the walkability and a wonderful sense of community found in the city.

Brittany Moseley
Columbus Monthly
J.D. Woodruff and Hannah Voss

Hannah Voss’ first visit to Canal Winchester started with a mundane task: an oil change. But it was the city’s historic downtown that left an impression on her. “I remember sitting [at] a little table on the patio at one of the restaurants and looking around and thinking, ‘I could live here one day,’” says Voss.

At the time, Voss and her fiancé, J.D. Woodruff, were living in Chicago. When they moved to Ohio—Woodruff is from Ashville in Pickaway County—the couple spent a year in Columbus before settling in Canal Winchester, where they’ve lived for a little over two years.

Voss says the variety of opportunities for everyone—from nightlife options for single twentysomethings to great schools for families to a senior center for the older population—makes the small city a great place to live.

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Voss’ favorite local spots include Loose Rail Brewing and BrewDog with its dog-friendly patio. Being from the Chicago area, the walkability of the city was another big draw for her. She also loves the local events, including the Labor Day Festival and Blues & Ribfest, although she jokes that she’s probably a bit biased, considering her job. Voss is the events and communications coordinator for Canal Winchester, a position she’s held since September 2020. She was furloughed from her previous job during the pandemic. When a position with the city opened, she says it was a “no-brainer” for her to apply.

The welcoming atmosphere and the sense of community in Canal Winchester are what stand out the most to Voss, though. She recalls walking to the farmers market shortly after she and Woodruff bought their house and the neighborly reception they received. One woman made sure to point out where she lived and encouraged Voss and Woodruff to stop by if they ever needed anything.

“We have a wonderful sense of community, and everybody [rallies] around each other,” Voss says. “I think that anybody would really be lucky to be part of this community.”

10-year population growth: 28 percent

Average home price: $327,936

1-year property value increase: 18 percent

5-year property value increase: 52 percent

Sources: Zillow, U.S. Census Bureau

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This story is from the December 2021 issue of Columbus Monthly.