|Central business district|
|Population||68,700 (Millwall, Blackwall and Cubitt Town, East India and Lansbury and Limehouse wards 2011 Census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Canary Wharf is an area of East London, England, located near the Isle of Dogs in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Canary Wharf is defined by the Greater London Authority as being part of London's central business district, alongside Central London. Alongside the City of London, it constitutes one of the main financial centres in the United Kingdom and the world, containing many high-rise buildings including the third-tallest in the UK, One Canada Square, which opened on 26 August 1991.
Developed on the site of the former West India Docks, Canary Wharf contains around 16,000,000 sq ft (1,500,000 m2) of office and retail space. It has many open areas, including Canada Square, Cabot Square and Westferry Circus. Together with Heron Quays and Wood Wharf, it forms the Canary Wharf Estate, around 97 acres (39 ha) in area.
Canary Wharf is located on the West India Docks on the Isle of Dogs.
From 1802 to the late 1980s, what would become the Canary Wharf Estate was a part of the Isle of Dogs (Millwall), Limehouse, and Poplar and was one of the busiest docks in the world. West India Docks was primarily developed by Robert Milligan (c. 1746–1809) who set up the West India Dock Company.
The Port of London Authority was established in 1909 and took control of West India Dock. Canary Wharf itself takes its name from No. 32 berth of the West Wood Quay of the Import Dock. This was built in 1936 for Fruit Lines Ltd, a subsidiary of Fred Olsen Lines for the Mediterranean and Canary Islands fruit trade. It is located on the Isle of Dogs, the quay and warehouse were given the name Canary Wharf.
After the 1960s, when cargo became containerized, port industry began to decline, leading to all the docks being closed by 1980. After the docks closed in 1980, the British Government adopted policies to stimulate redevelopment of the area, including the creation of the London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC) in 1981 and the granting of Urban Enterprise Zone status to the Isle of Dogs in 1982.
The Canary Wharf of today began when Michael von Clemm, former chairman of Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB), came up with the idea to convert Canary Wharf into a back office. Further discussions with G Ware Travelstead led to proposals for a new business district and included the LDDC developing an inexpensive light metro scheme, the Docklands Light Railway, to make use of a large amount of redundant railway infrastructure and to improve access.
The project was sold to the Canadian company Olympia & York and construction began in 1988, master-planned by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill with Yorke Rosenberg Mardall as their UK advisors, and subsequently by Koetter Kim. The first buildings were completed in 1991, including One Canada Square, which became the UK's tallest building at the time and a symbol of the regeneration of Docklands. By the time it opened, the London commercial property market had collapsed, and Olympia and York Canary Wharf Limited filed for bankruptcy in May 1992.
Initially, the City of London saw Canary Wharf as an existential threat. It modified its planning laws to expand the provision of new offices in the City of London, for example, creating offices above railway stations (Blackfriars) and roads (Alban Gate). The resulting oversupply of office space contributed to the failure of the Canary Wharf project.
In October 1995, an international consortium that included investors such as Alwaleed, bought control for $1.2 billion. Paul Reichmann, of Olympia & York, was named chairman, and Canary Wharf went public in 1999. The new company was called Canary Wharf Limited, and later became Canary Wharf Group.
In 1997, some residents living on the Isle of Dogs launched a lawsuit against Canary Wharf Ltd for private nuisance because the tower interfered with TV signals. The residents lost the case.
Recovery in the property market generally, coupled with continuing demand for large floorplate Grade A office space, slowly improved the level of interest. A critical event in the recovery was the much-delayed start of work on the Jubilee Line Extension, which the government wanted ready for the Millennium celebrations.
In March 2004, Canary Wharf Group plc. was taken over by a consortium of investors, backed by its largest shareholder Glick Family Investments and led by Morgan Stanley using a vehicle named Songbird Estates plc.
In addition to being a leading financial centre in the United Kingdom, Canary Wharf is famous for a collection of well-known high-rise buildings:
This table lists completed buildings in Canary Wharf that are at least 100 metres tall.
|1||One Canada Square||235||771||50||1991||The third-tallest completed building in the United Kingdom, the tallest being The Shard. Designed by Cesar Pelli, it was the tallest building in the United Kingdom upon completion in 1991. Multi-tenanted; occupiers include BNY Mellon, the CFA Institute, Clearstream, European Energy Exchange, Euler Hermes, the International Sugar Organization, Mahindra Satyam, MetLife, Moody's Analytics and Reach.|
|2||Landmark Pinnacle||233||764||75||2020||Residential tower (tallest residential building in Europe)|
|4||South Quay Plaza||215||705||68||2020||Residential tower|
|5||One Park Drive||205||673||57||2019||Residential tower|
|6||8 Canada Square||200||655||42||2002||The joint eleventh-tallest completed building in the United Kingdom. Occupied by HSBC as its global headquarters.|
|7||25 Canada Square||200||655||42||2001||The joint eleventh-tallest completed building in the United Kingdom. 25 Canada Square and 33 Canada Square together form a single complex known as the Citigroup Centre. Primarily occupied by Citigroup as its EMEA headquarters. Other tenants include Gain Capital, 3i Infotech, Crossrail, Instinet, Munich Re, MWB Group, FIS, Interoute, NYK and Wells Fargo.|
|8||Wardian London (East Tower)||187||614||55||2019||Residential tower|
|9||Amory Tower (The Madison)||182||597||53||2019||Residential tower|
|10||Wardian London (West Tower)||168||552||50||2019||Residential tower|
|11||One Churchill Place||156||513||32||2005||Occupied by Barclays as its global headquarters. Currently the eighth-tallest building in the United Kingdom, it was originally planned to be 50 storeys in height, but was scaled down to 31 after the 11 September attacks.|
|12=||40 Bank Street||153||502||33||2003||Multi-tenanted; occupiers include Allen & Overy, ANZ Bank, China Construction Bank, Duff & Phelps, Saxo Bank, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.|
|12=||25 Bank Street||153||502||33||2003||Occupied by JPMorgan Chase as its European headquarters since 2012.|
|14||10 Upper Bank Street||151||495||32||2003||Occupied by Clifford Chance as its global headquarters. Other occupiers include FTSE Group, Infosys, Mastercard, Deutsche Bank, and Total.|
|15||10 Park Drive
|16||Arena Tower (Baltimore Tower)||149||489||45||2017||Residential tower|
|17||Pan Peninsula (East Tower)||147||484||48||2008||Residential tower|
|18||Maine Tower (Harbour Central Block D)||144||472||42||2018||Residential tower|
|19||24 Marsh Wall (Landmark East Tower)||140||458||44||2010||Residential tower|
|20||25 Churchill Place||130||426||23||2014||The building housed the European Medicines Agency from early 2014 until March 2019 when they relocated to Amsterdam and Ernst & Young from 2015.|
|21=||40 Marsh Wall (Novotel London Canary Wharf)||128||420||39||2017||Hotel operating as 'Novotel Canary Wharf'|
10 George Street
|23||Harbour Central Block C||125||410||36||2018||Residential tower|
|24||Pan Peninsula (West Tower)||122||400||39||2008||Residential tower|
|25||Dollar Bay Tower||109||358||31||2016||Residential tower|
|26||1 West India Quay||108||354||36||2004||Floors 1–12 are occupied by a Marriott Hotel. Floors 13–33 house 158 apartments.|
|27||33 Canada Square||105||344||18||1999||33 Canada Square and 25 Canada Square together form a single complex, see above for details.|
As at 12 February 2023, there are 16 listed buildings in Canary Wharf of which 2 are Grade I and 14 in Grade II.
These docks with Nos 1 and 2 warehouses are now the only surviving examples of the first intensive period of London Docklands construction: 1800–10.
Most of the Grade II Listed buildings in Canary Wharf sit to the north-west of West India Dock North, and are located within the West India Dock Conservation Area. In addition to architectural values, “these buildings and structures are of significance due to their association with the development of the docks and the community that grew up around them”.
|Photograph||Building Name||Construction Date||Location (E14)||Listing Date||Description|
|10 and 12, Garford Street E14 ||1800s, early||Garford Street||27 September 1973||Early 19th century pairs of stock brick houses. These cottages were originally built for the officers and sergeants who supervised the Docks.|
|14, Garford Street E14 ||1800s, early||Garford Street||27 September 1973||Early 19th century stock brick house.|
|16 and 18, Garford Street E14 ||1800s, early||Garford Street||27 September 1973||Early 19th century pairs of stock brick houses.|
|Entrance Gates to West India Docks||1800s, early||West India Dock Road||19 July 1950||2 rusticated Portland stone piers with a capping of 4 dwarf pediments and acroteria.|
|Former West Entrance Gate to West India Docks with Curved Walling and Bollards ||1900s, early||Westferry Road||1 July 1983||Stock brick curved wing walls and Portland stone gatepiers. Modern brick wall blocks entrance. Two cast-iron obelisk pattern bollards with the inscription WIDC (West India Dock Company).|
|Railings to West of Main Gate at West India Docks||1800s, early||West India Dock Road||30 September 1981||Cast iron railings approximately 70 yards in length.|
|Former Excise Office ||1807||West India Dock Road||30 September 1981||Also known as Dockmaster's House, by the architect and engineer Thomas Morris.|
|Railings and Gatepiers to Former Excise Office ||1807||West India Dock Road||30 September 1981||Contemporary iron railings with six rusticated stucco gatepiers on street front. The stucco decoration of the piers elaborated mid 19th century.|
|Quadrangle Stores at West India Dock||1825||West India Dock Road||30 September 1981||Also known as Cannon Workshops, by engineer John Rennie the Younger. A rare survival of an early purpose built illustrative of the workings of the Docks Company.|
|Salvation Army Hostel ||1905||Garford Street||27 September 1973||Neo Georgian style building by architectural partnership Niven and Wigglesworth. Also known as: 20 Garford Street.|
|West India Dock Former Guard House ||1803||West India Dock Road||27 September 1973||A one storey, small circular building designed by architect George Gwilt. It originally formed one of a pair built by Docks Company as a lock-up and armoury.|
|Former West Entrance Lock to South Dock, West India Docks||1803-05||Westferry Road||1 July 1983||By civil engineer William Jessop, built as the west entrance lock to the City Canal, later taken into the West India Docks system.|
|Fitch and Sons Works ||1870-80||Westferry Road||1 July 1983||A good example of the smaller warehouses in the historical West India Docks, with built in retail outlet on ground floor, a now rare feature.|
|Cascades||1987-88||Westferry Road||18 April 2018||A 20-storey residential tower by CZWG.|
Canary Wharf contains around 16,000,000 sq ft (1,500,000 m2) of office and retail space, of which around 7,900,000 sq ft (730,000 m2) (about 49%) is owned by Canary Wharf Group. Around 105,000 people work in Canary Wharf, and it is home to the world or European headquarters of numerous major banks, professional services firms, and media organisations, including Barclays, Citigroup, Clifford Chance, Credit Suisse, Ernst & Young, Fitch Ratings, HSBC, Infosys, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, MetLife, Moody's, Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Canada, Deutsche Bank, S&P Global, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, State Street, The Economist Group and Thomson Reuters,. Until 2018, Canary Wharf also hosted two European Union agencies, European Medicines Agency and European Banking Authority, that moved to Amsterdam and Paris respectively due to Brexit.
West India Quays and Poplar Dock are two marinas that are used as moorings for barges and private leisure river craft and is owned by the Canal & River Trust.
A local public library, called Idea Store Canary Wharf, is in Churchill Place shopping mall and run by Tower Hamlets Council which opened on Thursday 16 March 2006 as part of the Idea Store project and is the borough fourth Idea Store.
Canary Wharf hosts two multiplexes (cinemas), one on West India Quay run by Cineworld. and another at Crossrail Place called Everyman Cinema.
Canada Square is one of the central squares at Canary Wharf. It is a large open space with grass, except during the winter when it is converted into an ice rink. The square is named after Canada, because the original developers of modern Canary Wharf, Olympia & York, wanted to reflect their heritage. Underneath the square is Canada Place shopping mall.
Westferry Circus is on the west side of Canary Wharf. It is a garden at ground level, and below is a roundabout allowing traffic to flow through. The garden is enclosed by bespoke hand-crafted ornamental railings and entrance gates by artist Giuseppe Lund. The area has a long history, dating back to 1812, when the Poplar and Greenwich Roads Company operated a horse ferry between Greenwich and the Isle of Dogs. It operated on the West Ferry and East Ferry Roads, which the names survived. Westferry Circus was chosen as the name for the roundabout and park by virtue of its proximity to Westferry Road.
Cabot Square is one of the biggest squares at Canary Wharf, with a large fountain at the centre. The inner perimeter has additional fountains covered by trees. The square has large circular glass ventilation holes to allow gases to escape from the underground car park. The square is named after John Cabot and his son Sebastian, who were Italian explorers who settled in England in 1484.
Churchill Place is an area on the east side of Canary Wharf. It is named after Winston Churchill.
A small square on the west side of Canary Wharf named after Christopher Columbus. The first phase of Canary Wharf was completed in 1992, 500 years after Columbus arrived in America.
A passageway south of Cabot Square. Named after Richard Chancellor who sailed with Sir John Willoughby from Greenwich on their voyage through the White Sea to Moscow.
Small area north of Cabot Square. Leads to North Dock footbridge towards Port East. Named after British architect Christopher Wren.
A 4,160m² roof garden, one of London's largest, houses on the top of seven-storey Crossrail Place structure, which contains the Elizabeth line Canary Wharf station. Opened to public in 2015, it lies almost exactly on the Meridian line splitting eastern and western hemispheres. The plants originating from the eastern hemisphere are planted to the East of the Meridian line in the garden, with those from the Western hemisphere on the opposite side.
Every four years, residents of Canary Wharf ward elect two councillors to represent them on Tower Hamlets Council.
|Independent||Andrew Wood* †||993||27.01||-1.58|
|Labour Co-op||Adam Allnutt||885||24.08||-0.52|
|Labour Co-op||Shajia Sultana||846||23.01||-1.53|
|Liberal Democrats||Morgan Jones||363||9.87||-0.33|
|Liberal Democrats||Mohammed Hannan||270||7.34||+0.15|
|Aspire gain from Conservative||Swing|
|Aspire gain from Labour||Swing|
† Andrew Wood was elected for the Conservative Party in 2018, but resigned to sit as an Independent in 2020.
Canary Wharf is served by London-wide, regional, national and international transport connections.
Canary Wharf is in London fare zone 2, and several stations can be found throughout the estate.
Stations in Canary Wharf only offer direct connections to London and Berkshire destinations. Regional and national National Rail connections can be found elsewhere in London, including at Liverpool Street, Lewisham, London Bridge, Stratford, Stratford International and Waterloo.
Major roads near Canary Wharf include:
Transport for London (TfL) and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets monitor the air quality around Canary Wharf.
In 2017, an automatic monitoring station in Blackwall found that local air quality failed to meet UK National Air Quality Objectives, recording an annual average Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) concentration of 56 μg/m3 (micrograms per cubic metre). The National Objective is set by the government at 40 μg/m3.
Alternative stations nearer Canary Wharf recorded cleaner air. Monitors at the Limehouse Link/Westferry Road junction and on Prestons Road recorded a 2017 annual average NO2 concentration of 40 μg/m3, which Tower Hamlets argue fails to meet the UK National Objective.
London Buses routes 135, 277, D3, D7, D8, N277 and N550 call at bus stops near Canary Wharf. Bus 135 links Canary Wharf directly to Liverpool Street in the City of London, and bus D8 to Stratford.
Several Riverboat services call at Canary Wharf Pier, including:
Tower, London Bridge City and Blackfriars are in the City of London. Oyster Cards are valid for travel on TfL-coordinated riverboat services.
London City Airport is three miles from Canary Wharf. Over 4.8 million passengers passed through City Airport in 2018. The airport serves domestic and international destinations, including New York.
London City Airport is on the DLR. Passengers from Canary Wharf can change trains at Poplar for services to the Airport.
The Canary Wharf Group, London Borough of Tower Hamlets and Transport for London (TfL) provide cycling infrastructure in and around Canary Wharf. Several leisure and commuter routes pass through or near the estate, including:
Opened in 2003, the Museum of London Docklands is one of the main attractions in the area.
Canary Wharf has been reported since 2017 as part of the Pokémon Go augmented reality game to being the home for the most wanted Pokémon gyms in London including Canary Wharf DLR station and Montgomery Square.
Canary Wharf Group published an official Pokémon map for PokéStop's and Pokémon Gyms, the managing director for retail Camille Waxer said in 2016 that Pokémon Go has serious potential to attract new audiences to the area, particularly food and drink outlets are seeing an increase in footfall.
Canary Wharf hosts the "Winter Lights" art installations each January. 2023 Canary Wharf Winter Lights Festival is the largest light art festival in London.
Canary Wharf features in both the Doctor Who and Torchwood franchises as the fictional base of the Torchwood Institute, an organisation created by Queen Victoria to combat extraterrestrial threats. Canary Wharf features heavily as the staging post for the 2007 Cyberman invasion of Earth and is heavily damaged during a resulting battle between the Cybermen and the Daleks.
Thom Yorke of Radiohead, during their concert Live at the Astoria in May 1994, explained their song Fake Plastic Trees is about Canary Wharf.
Canary Wharf Art Trail is the largest outdoor public art collection in London. People are free to visit more than 100 pieces of stand-alone sculptures, integrated architectural works, and outdoor art exhibiting outside buildings around the Canary Wharf area. Two printed maps are regularly updated by Canary Wharf Group for visitors to discover and identify artworks permanently on display all over the estate.
The East London Advertiser (formerly The Docklands & East London Advertiser) is a local newspaper printing weekly and also online.
Wharf life is a fortnightly publication of 15,000 copies for Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London. An E-edition is also available.
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