Grand Island is a town located in Erie County, New York, United States. As of the 2010 census, the town's population was 20,374, representing an increase of 9.41% from the 2000 census figure. The town's name derives from the French name La Grande Île, as Grand Island is the largest island in the Niagara River and fourth largest in New York state. The phrase La Grande Île appears on the town seal.Over its history, Grand Island has served as home to the Attawandaron Nation and been an acquisition of both French and English colonial pursuits. In 1945, Grand Island was part of a plan to make a new World Peace Capital on the international border between Southern Ontario, Canada, and Western New York. The plan proposed placing the United Nations headquarters on adjacent Navy Island (Ontario), which was considered an ideal location because it lay on the boundary between two peaceful countries. An artist's rendering of the World Peace Capital showed the property with bridges spanning both countries (between Grand Island in the United States and the Canadian mainland). The proposal was turned down in favor of the current U.N. headquarters in New York City.The town of Grand Island is located in the northwestern corner of Erie County, and on the Canada–US border, although there is no river crossing. It is northwest of Buffalo and is traversed by Interstate 190 and New York State Route 324.