Canyon City Community Profile

PO Box 276, 123 S. Washington, Canyon City, OR 97820
Phone 541-575-0509 • Fax 541-575-0515
Web Page • E-Mail:

City Location

County(ies): Grant    Incorporated in 1981
Location: Eastern Oregon
Nearest Major Highway and Distance: Hwy 395 | local
Nearest Major City and Distance:
Bend / 150 miles / 3 hours
Distance to Portland: 266 miles

Source: Oregon Department of Transportation, State of Oregon Map; Oregon Blue Book

Recreational Amenities

Local: Fishing and gold panning in Canyon Creek; the Grant County Historic Museum and the Joaquin Miller cabin and Greenhorn Jail located next to the museum; the Historic St. Thomas Episcopal Church; the Boot Hill, Canyon City and St. Andrews Cemetaries; the F.C. Sells Brewery Site; plus the Ox Bow Trade Co. Museum of Horse-Drawn Vehicles located in an 11,000 sq. ft. historic dance hall. Annual Celebrations consist of the '62 Days Celebration taking place in June each year, celebrating the history of the gold mining era and Music in the Park in June, July and August. Countywide: Grant County is a land of scenic contrasts--from dramatic geologic formations in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument to the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness area, with sagebrush and juniper, grassy valleys, and pine forests, to the many streams, rivers, lakes and hot springs. This diversity allows for participation in hunting, fishing, hiking, wildlife observation, photography, snowmobiling, skiing, cross-county skiing, watersports, or even golf at the John Day Golf Club.

Planning a vacation or a tour through an area of Oregon? Visit the Oregon Tourism Commission's web site at for more information.

Source: City Administration, local chamber of commerce, local convention and visitor bureau


Elevation: 3,194'      Measurement Location: John Day

Monthly Ave. Low: 21°F           Monthly Ave. High: 88°F
Hottest Month: July                  Coldest Month: January
Driest Month: July                    Wettest Month: November
Average annual precipitation: 13.380"

Humidity (Hour 10, local time):
Average July afternoon humidity: 34%
Average January afternoon humidity: 77%

Source: Oregon Climate Service

Information in the Community Profiles was derived from many sources, including local, state and federal sources. The Oregon Business Development Department cannot accept responsibility for errors or omissions. Questions and comments may be directed to the department by telephone 503-986-0123, by fax 503-581-5115 or by email

Profile Topics

Community Age Groups
Industries and Products
Demographic Data
5 Largest Employers
Economic Development Orgs
Financial Institutions
Business Taxes
Public Safety
Community Communications
Water Supply
Wastewater Treatment System
Natural Gas & Electrical

Profiles Home Page



City of Canyon City648 699 650 660
Grant County 7,853 7,935 7,685 7,630
Sources: 1990, 2000 US Census; 2205, 2006 Center for Population Research and Census, Portland State University. 0 indicates data is unavailable.

Grant County 4,528 sq miles   2 persons/sq mile Sources: figures based on 2006 PSU population estimates;
Oregon Bluebook county square mileage

Community Age Groups

Under 5 years0 0 50 49

5-19 years0 0 177 161

20-44 years0 0 241 234

45-64 years0 0 153 137

65+ years0 0 64 88

Median Age0 0 33 35.4

Source: US Census, 0 or N/A indicates data is not available. Median value is the middle value, not an average.


Total Housing Units1970198019902000Median Value of
Housing, 2000
City of Canyon City180 256 285 289 $81,800
Grant County 2,043 3,110 3,774 4,004 $79,700

City of Canyon City 2000 Housing Breakout:Also visit Housing and
Community Services Web Site:
Vacancy Rate:12.11%
Median Owner Cost
Owner Occupied:176

Renter Occupied:81
Median Gross Rent:$471

Source: US Census. Median value is the middle value, not an average.

Economic Development and Employment

Principal Industries of the County(ies):
Grant County—Forestry, livestock, recreation and tourism

Source: Oregon Employment Department, Covered Employment and Payroll Reports, 1998

Agricultural Products of the Area (Top 3 largest gross farm sales):
Grant County—Cattle and calves, specialty products, hays and forage

Source: Oregon State University, Extension Economic Information Office

Total Number of Manufacturing Companies in the County:
Grant County 46

Source: Oregon Employment Department, Covered Employment and Payroll Reports, 1998

Total Number of Manufacturing Companies in the City: 0
Source: City Administration

Economic Indicators

Grant CountyOregon


Labor Force3,7693,7701,802,9381,793,7731,840,133
Total Employment1,715,4531,679,9141,701,390
Unemployment Rate10.3%10%4.9%6.3%7.5%
Non-Farm Payroll Employment2,6702,6401,606,8001,596,1001,572,500
Total Covered Employment2,7252,6971,607,9441,596,9431,573,083
Total Covered Payroll
($ thousands county/
$ millions state)
Ave. Annual Payroll Per Employee$24,492$25,808$32,776$33,202$33,684
Number of Business Units345344108,432111,353113,097
Total Personal Income ($ millions)$179,195$185,679$94,999$98,500$101,358
Annual Per Capita Personal Income$$24,967$27,649$28,40028,792
Assessed Value of Property ($ millions)$0$420$198,911$210,435$219,878
Residential Construction
  Building Permits
  Value ($ thousands)





Travel Expenditures ($ millions)$0$11,100$6,133$6,128$6,208
Travel-Related Employment027089,80091,10090,200

 Preliminary Data
Sources: Oregon Employment Department; Center for Population Research & Census, PSU; U.S. Census Bureau; Bureau of Economic Analysis; Oregon Tourism Commission; Oregon Department of Revenue; Oregon Economic and Community Development Department.

5 Largest Employers, Public and Private as of November, 2002

Employer—Product/ServiceNumber of
Grant County—Courthouse, Jail, Road & Health Departments 110

School District #3—Humbolt Elementary School & District Office 46

Grayback Forestry Inc. —Reforestation and Fire Supression 40

Jackson Oil Inc. —Texaco Station and Mini Mart and Business Office 13

Oregon State Highway Department —Maintenance Shop 11

Source: City Administration

Oregon Employment Labor Market Information

This link takes you to the Oregon Employment Department, Labor Market Analysis database. County information can be obtained here.—Click on Regional Information.

Local and Regional Economic Development Organizations

Town of Canyon City— 541-575-0509

GEODC Greater Eastern Oregon Development Corp. 541-575-2786

Grant County Economic Development Coordinator 541-575-1555

G.R.E.A.T. Grant Resource Enhancement Action Team 541-575-1555

SRA Southeast Regional Alliance 541-575-2786

Economic & Community Development Department Regional Development Officer— 541-575-1050

Source: City Administration, local chamber of commerce, Oregon Economic and Community Development Department


Public and Private Schools K–12

Public School District:
Grant School District 3

Other Schools in the School District (Private, Parochial)
To see if there are private and/or parochial schools in this district please visit

Source: Oregon Department of Education

Oregon Community Colleges and Public Universities

Oregon map with higher ed institutions identified

legend for map

For a list of public and private educational institutions in Oregon visit


Oregon Economic and Community Development Department Workforce Advocate 503–986–0207, or visit Locate local workforce assistance at

Financial Information

Financial Institutions

Commercial Banks: 0   Savings and Loans: 0   Credit Unions: 0

Source: City Administration


Sales Tax Oregon has no general sales tax.

Property Tax
Property—Who pays? Owners of real and business personal property, according to the assessed value of taxable residential, commercial, farm, industrial, utility and timber property.

County assessors use permanent rates set for all taxing districts in fiscal year 1997–98, when taxes were significantly reduced with a statewide average 17 percent cut in tax levies. Certain types of levies are outside this reduction. The tax rates cannot exceed $15 per $1,000 of real market value. For 1997–98, all property was valued by county assessors at 90 percent of the July 1, 1995, levels. For subsequent years, assessed values are limited to a 3 percent annual growth rate. Construction since July 1, 1995, is valued at the average rate of similar properties in the area. Business personal property requires annual filing. One–third payment is due by November 15. If fully paid by November 15, a 3 percent discount is allowed. Special exemptions, tax relief programs and deferrals are available. For more information contact the Grant County assessor’s office at 541–575–0107.

Tax rates are representative of the largest tax code in the city. The rates are expressed as tax liability per $1,000 of assessed property value.

Grant County
Average Compressed Tax Rate 1997-98$14.85
Average Compressed Tax Rate 1998-99$14.51
Average 1999 Housing Value$38,258
Ave Res Property Tax Paid on Ave House 1997-98$0
Ave Res Property Tax Paid on Ave House 1998-99$555.12
Average School rate 1998-99 . . . . . . . . $5.40

Average Non-School Rate 1998-99. . . . $13.65

Average City Rate 1998-99 . . . . . . . . . $6.31

Business Taxes
Property—see above

Income—Corporations doing or authorized to do business in Oregon pay excise tax. Corporations not doing or authorized to do business, but having income from an Oregon source, pay income tax. For more information contact the Oregon Department of Revenue, 955 Center St., NE, Salem, OR 97301, 503–378–4988,

Unemployment Insurance—Employers pay this. For 2002, new employers are assigned a fixed rate of 3 percent of taxable wage base. Tax rates for existing employers are based on employers' experience and range from 1 percent to 5.4 percent of taxable wage base. Taxes are paid quarterly and are due by the end of the month following the quarter. In 2002, the tax is paid on the first $25,000 of wages paid to each employee. The rate schedule in effect depends on the balance in the Trust Fund as of August 31 each year and the amount of revenue needed to maintain the balance at a level adequate to pay benefits. For more information contact the Oregon Employment Department, 875 Union St., NE, Salem, OR 97301, 503–947–1488, web

Utilities, Railroad, Weight-mile—Who pays? All railroads and investor-owned utilities operating with the state pay an annual fee. For-hire and private motor carriers operating into, within and through the state pay weight-mile taxes. Rates—limit of .25 percent of gross operating revenues of investor-owned utilities; .25 percent charged on 2002 revenues. Limit of .35 percent on gross operating revenues of railroads; .267 percent charged in 2002 revenues. Applications, plate fees and per-mile rates dependent on declared combined weight of vehicle. For more information contact the Oregon Public Utility Commission, 550 Capitol St., NE, Suite 215, Salem, OR 97301–2551, 503–378–6611, web; Oregon Department of Transportation, Rail Section, 555 13th St., NE, Salem, OR 97310–1333, 503–986–4125, web; Oregon Department of Transportation, Motor Carrier Transport Branch, 550 Capitol St., NE, Salem, OR 97301–3871, 503–378–6699, web

Oregon's Business Incentives.

Other incentives: Enterprise Zone

Motor Vehicle Licensing, Driver Licensing, Fuels—Who pays? Owners and operators of motor vehicles. Oil companies importing fuels. Truckers using Oregon highways. Fees—Registration fees, driver license fees and renewals (contact the Oregon Driver & Motor Vehicle Services division 503–945–5000, web

Hunting and Fishing Licenses—contact Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, PO Box 59, Portland, OR 97207, general information 503–872–5268, licenses/tags/permits 503–872–5275, web

Amusement Device Tax—An excise tax is imposed upon every person who operates an amusement device in Oregon. An amusement device is a video lottery game terminal. More information from the Oregon Lottery Commission, 500 Airport Rd SE, Salem, 97301, web

Emergency Communications (9–1–1) Tax—Telephone companies providing local exchange access services in Oregon Collect this tax from their customers. The tax, which is $0.75 per line per month, is reported and paid quarterly. More information from the Oregon Department of Revenue, web

Hazardous Substance Fee—Paid by possessors of nonpetroleum hazardous substance. More information from the Oregon Department of Revenue, web

Petroleum Load Fee—Paid by petroleum suppliers and importers to Oregon. More information from the Oregon Department of Revenue, web

Timber Severance Tax—Paid by timber owners on harvested timber’s value. More information from the Oregon Department of Revenue, web

Forest Products Harvest Tax—Paid on timber cut from any land in Oregon. More information from the Oregon Department of Revenue, web

Dry Cleaning Tax—Paid by operators of dry cleaning facilities. More information from the Oregon Department of Revenue, web

Alcoholic Beverages—Manufacturers and/or import wholesalers of malt beverages and wines pay a privilege tax. Manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers of distilled spirits, malt beverages and wines pay license fees. Employees who serve alcoholic beverages pay for service permits. For more information contact the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, PO Box 22297, Portland, OR 97222, 503–872–5000 or 1–800–452–6522 (in Oregon), web

Tobacco Products—Cigarette and tobacco products distributors are required to purchase tax stamps for cigarettes or pay a percentage of the wholesale price on other tobacco products. More information from the Oregon Department of Revenue, web

Transit Payroll Tax–paid by employers in the Tri-Met (Portland area) and Lane Transit District (Eugene) for mass transit systems. Administered by the Department of Revenue, web

Many local governments in Oregon collect other taxes, such as hotel-motel taxes. Contact the city or county in which you are interested for more complete information about taxes in that area.

Source: Oregon Department of Revenue, “A Summary of Taxes,” January 2002; County information–County Assessor’s Office

Community Services and Resources

Public Safety/Emergency Services

Fire Station(s) serving community: Canyon City Fire Department
Number of paid and volunteer firefighters: 10
Rating by Insurance Services Organization (ISO): 6
Comments: Data unreported since 1996
Source: Oregon State Fire Marshal, Oregon Fire Service Resource Directory 2000

Police Department: Contracted with the City of John Day
Number of paid and reserve officers: 15

Nearest Hospital and distance: Blue Mountain Hospital, 2 miles in John Day
Regional Hospital and distance: Blue Mountain Hospital, 2 miles in John Day
Emergency services to community: Grant County Ambulance Service & Air Life of Oregon
General Clinic(s): 2

Source: City Administration

Communications Resources

Local Newspapers: Blue Mountain Eagle

Regional Newspapers: East Oregonian, Oregonian

Radio Stations: KJDY AM and FM, KGNR FM

TV Stations: Blue Mountain TV Cable Co.

Available Cable Television: Blue Mountain TV Cable Co.

Telephone Service Provider(s): CenturyTel

Local Internet Service Provider(s): Yes
Number of Internet Service Providers: Data unavailable at this time.
Source: City Administration

Library System
Grant County Library in John Day

Source: City Administration

Planning Service/Regulatory

Regulatory SystemYear AcknowledgedYear Last
Year of Periodic ReviewComments
Comprehensive Plan1984 1999
Exempt from periodic review
Zoning Ordinance

Building Permit System

State building code is enforced by the state building inspector
Subdivision Ordinance

Strategic Plan

Territory Covered by Zoning
Municipality Yes     County Yes
Source: City Administration

Industrial Lands
Does the Community seek industrial development? Yes
Access Statewide industrial lands database—
Source: Economic and Community Development Department

Special Districts and Associations (ports, water, sewer, etc.)
Name of Special District and the Oregon Revised Statute it was created under:
Blue Mountain Hospital District; Grant County E.S.D.; Grant County Extension Service District and 4-H; Grant County Transportation District; Grant S.W.C.D.; John Day/Canyon City Parks and Recreation; Mid-County Cemetery District.

Special Districts Association of Oregon—727 Center St., NE Salem, OR 97301, 503–371–8667 or 800–285–5461
Source: City Administration


Water Supply

Operator: Town of Canyon City
Source: Ground Water Surface Water; Byram Gulch Spring-deep well and John Day Water System
Supply: Treated Untreated; Capacity (MGD)– 0.489; Pressure (PSI)–30 or greater

Current Water Utilization on Meter Size (MGD): MGD .258
Water Costs per thousand gallons: Base rate per/thousand = 0-5,000 gallons $17.00
Water Costs for Total Consumption of Residential: Based on 7,500 gallons = $19.86

Age of Water System: 1935

Water System Comment(s): Built in 1935, improved in 1980

Compliance Issues: Currently working to meet Safe Drinking Water requirements

Water debt repayment included as part of tax assessment? Yes

Date of Current Master Plan: 2000

Plans for Upgrading or Expanding: This is a 20 year Master Plan allowing for expansion when warranted.
Source: City Administration

Wastewater Treatment System

Operator: City of John Day by contract          Age of Wastewater Collection System: 1978

System Design Capacity (MGD): MGD 0.60     System Utilization (MGD): MGD 0.30
Collection System Fees: $18 / Month    Hook-up or Connection Fee:
Access Fee or System Development Fee: Approved 2001 - Water $2,666 / EDU Sewer $ 950 / EDU

Comment(s) on Wastewater System: Collection system only in Canyon City - Treatment plan is owned and operated by the City of John Day.

Compliance Issues:

Date of Last Facility Plan:

Plans for Upgrade/Expansion:

Storm Drain: No    Storm Water Discharge Fee:
Fees or issues related to storm drains:
Source: City Administration


Is there access to broadband

If yes, check all that apply:
Microwave Satellite

Is there route diversity? No
AccessMonthly FeeOther Fee
T1 Yes
Cable No

For Oregon Telecommunications information and resources, visit

Natural Gas—Provider:
Lines and Feed:

Rate Structure:

Plans for Upgrade/Expansion:

Electrical—Provider: OTEC
Lines and Feed: Overhead and underground

Rate Structure Monthly charge - $19.00
Engergy Charge - $.06408/kwh
Idle Service Rate-$17.00 per billing period

Plans for Upgrade/Expansion:

Solid Waste Management: Clarks Disposal

Permit Status: Permit is with Grant County

Utility Expansion Plans:

Utilities Source: City Administration; PGE information supplied by PGE. Note: We update utility rates periodically. Actual rates may change more often than that. For the most current rate for any carrier please consult the Public Utilities Commission web site at Click on the Statistics 200x label (x being the most recent year).


Highways Hwy 395 N/S route, local; Hwy 26 E/W route, local access   Transportation Access Fee: $0

Community Air Service No Grant County Regional Airport - no commercial service If no local service, list closest Air Facility
Air Passenger Service: No
Airport Freight Service: No
Redmond, OR Pendleton, OR Boise, ID
Air Service Comments:

Rail Service: No 
Freight Service: No    Passenger Service: No
If no local service, list closest Rail Service: Freight Service: Baker City Passenger Service: Chemult

Marine No

Transportation issues which might confront development, such as non-attainment air shed, etc.:

Public Transportation Comment:

Bus Service Available in the Community: Yes People Mover - 3 times a week to Bend/John Day
Scheduled Bus Service Available: No    Buses Per Day:
Local Charter Services: No 
Distance to Nearest Bus Service: 80 miles to Baker City / Greyhound

Trucking Service
Scheduled Freight Carrier Services: Yes  Eastern Oregon Fast Freight and UPS
Overnight Express Parcel Service Available: Yes Fedex, Roadrunner, Airborne Express, UPS, Post Office
Overnight Express Mail Service Available: Yes
Transportation Comments:

For more information relating to transportation topics please visit the Department of Transportation web site. Airports (maps and general information); Bicycle and Pedestrian Route information; Public Transportation, bus and rail

Source: City Administration, local chamber of commerce (proprietary information)