Located in north central Litchfield County on the east side of the Housatonic River, Canaan is often referred to by locals as Falls Village.
The town of Canaan was incorporated in 1739, and built around a bustling economy of agriculture, sheep-raising and some iron mining. During the 18th century a division of interests occurred in the religious community, causing a split into two separate communities. In 1858 the split was made official, resulting in the creation of two towns instead of one. The southern community kept the name Canaan, while the older northern community became North Canaan.
Today, the sheep farming has slowed and the main industry has become the production of hydroelectric power at the falls on the Housatonic River. The economy is also helped by limestone mining and some amount of very light manufacturing. Residents and visitors can also enjoy recreational opportunities along the scenic Housatonic River such as kayaking, canoeing and fishing. Canaan is also a stop along the famed Appalachian Trail, giving residents interested in hiking easy access to rewarding trails featuring dramatic vistas.
Canaan is part of Regional School District 1, a group of six towns. Within Canaan there is one school for children grades K-8. High School students attend Housatonic Valley Regional High School in Falls Village.
Falls Village hosts the oldest continuing summer chamber music festival in the country, Music Mountain, every summer. Desirous of preserving the rich cultural heritage of the area the Falls Village-Canaan Historical Society plays an active role in the community by maintaining the landmarks of Beebe Hill School, South Canaan Meeting House and a museum with records and original photographs of the town.