Canton’s long wait for new McDonald’s restaurant will soon end

Updated: Apr. 7, 2021 at 2:20 PM EDT
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CANTON, N.Y. (WWNY) - It has been more than five years since you could grab a Big Mac in Canton. The wait is almost over. Officials broke ground on a new McDonald’s Wednesday.

“It’s been a long time coming. There’s not a lot of places to eat here. At the old McDonald’s, the staff and everything were just wonderful people,” said Karen Layhee, Canton resident.

Layhee and others came by to find out how soon. Owner Paul Ross told them August.

People mourned when the McDonald’s downtown closed in December 2015.

“The thing that I’ve heard more from anyone in our community is: ‘When does McDonald’s come back?’ And they’re back,” said Michael Dalton, Canton village mayor.

The lack of a drive-thru was cited as a big reason for the McDonald’s closing. The new one is about a mile away. It will have a double drive-thru like Potsdam’s. Ross owns that one and several others locally.

“I’ve been operating restaurants in the north country for several years now and it’s just a great place to do business, great people to hire and work in our restaurants and get involved in the community,” said Ross.

About 70 people will work in the new McDonald’s. Company officials say it’s the first McDonald’s to open on a new site in the New York-New England area in several years.

Village officials say this isn’t just important for McDonald’s and McDonald’s fans, it’s important for development in Canton as well.

“Any economic development for us is important,” said Dalton. “It’s an excellent sign for Canton.”

Downtown Canton has been holding its own since a rash of closings a few years ago. Still, no use has yet been found for the former McDonald’s building.

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