Canary Wharf

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For the landmark tower located within Canary Wharf sometimes also known as Canary Wharf, see One Canada Square.
Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf Skyline 2, London UK - Oct 2012.jpg
Skyline of Canary Wharf, viewed from the west
Canary Wharf is located in Greater London
Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf
 Canary Wharf shown within Greater London
OS grid reference TQ375802
London borough Tower Hamlets
Ceremonial county Greater London
Region London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district E14
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament Poplar and Limehouse
London Assembly City and East
List of places

Coordinates: 51°30′13″N 0°01′06″W / 51.503611°N 0.018333°W / 51.503611; -0.018333

Canary Wharf is a major business district located in Tower Hamlets, London, United Kingdom. It is one of London's two main financial centres – along with the traditional City of London – and contains many of the UK's tallest buildings, including the second-tallest, One Canada Square.[1][2]

Canary Wharf contains around 14,000,000 square feet (1,300,000 m2) of office and retail space, of which around 7,900,000 square feet (730,000 m2) is owned by Canary Wharf Group.[3] Around 105,000 people work in Canary Wharf[4] 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, Infosys, Fitch Ratings, HSBC, J.P. Morgan, KPMG, MetLife, Moody's, Morgan Stanley, RBC, Skadden, State Street and Thomson Reuters.[5]

Canary Wharf is located in the West India Docks on the Isle of Dogs in the Borough of Tower Hamlets in East London. The West India Docks once formed part of the busiest port in the world.[6] After the docks were closed in 1980 the British Government adopted various policies to stimulate the redevelopment of the area, including through the creation of the London Docklands Development Corporation in 1981 and granting the Isle of Dogs Enterprise Zone status in 1982.[6] In 1987 the Canadian company Olympia and York agreed to construct a major office development on the Isle of Dogs, with construction commencing in 1988.[6]


Canary Wharf, view east from Cabot Square

Canary Wharf is located on the West India Docks on the Isle of Dogs.

From 1802, the area was one of the busiest docks in the world.

After the 1960s, the port industry began to decline, leading to all the docks being closed by 1981.[7] Of the three main docks of the West India Docks, the Canary Wharf estate occupies part of the north side and the entire south side of the Import Dock (North Dock), both sides of the Export Dock (Middle Dock) and the north side of the South 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. At their request, the quay and warehouse were given the name Canary Wharf.[8]

Canary Wharf aerial view (2009), from south east end of the Isle of Dogs

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.

The project was sold to Olympia & York[9] and construction began in 1988, master-planned by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill with YRM as their UK advisors, and subsequently by Koetter Kim. The first buildings were completed in 1991 which included One Canada Square that became the UK's tallest building and a symbol of the regeneration of Docklands. Upon opening, the London commercial property market had collapsed and Olympia and York Canary Wharf Limited filed for bankruptcy in May 1992.

Local opposition[edit]

The idea of a new financial services district was not popular with local residents as the expectation was that the development would provide no local jobs or transport improvements.[citation needed] However, over the course of the development relations with the local community have improved and more than 7,000 local (Tower Hamlets) residents work at Canary Wharf.[citation needed]

In 1997, some residents living on the Isle of Dogs launched a lawsuit against Canary Wharf Ltd for private nuisance because the tower caused interference with television signals. The residents lost the case.[10]

Rescue and recovery[edit]

In December 1995 an international consortium, backed by the former owners of Olympia & York and other investors, bought the scheme. The new company was called Canary Wharf Limited, and later became Canary Wharf Group.

Recovery in the property market generally, coupled with continuing demand for large floorplate grade A office accommodation, slowly improved the level of interest in the estate. A critical event in the recovery of Canary Wharf was the much-delayed start of work on the Jubilee line, 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[11] and led by Morgan Stanley using a vehicle named Songbird Estates plc.

At the peak of property prices in 2007, the HSBC building sold for a record £1.1 billion.[12]

In March 2014 planning permission was granted for the first residential building on the Canary Wharf estate, a 58-storey tower including 566 apartments plus shops and a health club.[13]

In July 2014 Canary Wharf Group was granted planning permission for a major eastwards expansion of the Canary Wharf estate.[14][15] The plans include the construction of 30 buildings comprising a total of 4.9 million square feet, including shops, 1.9 million square feet of commercial offices and 3,100 homes.[14][15] Construction is planned to commence in Autumn 2014 with the first buildings to be occupied at the end of 2018.[14]

Completed buildings over 60 metres[edit]

Ranking by height Image Name Height Floors Completion date Notes
Metres Feet
1 Londres 097..jpg One Canada Square 235 771 50 1991 The 15th-tallest building in Europe and currently the second tallest completed building in the United Kingdom, the tallest being The Shard. Designed by Cesar Pelli, it was the tallest building in Europe upon completion in 1991. Multi-tenanted; occupiers include The Bank of New York Mellon, the CFA Institute, Clearstream, EEX (European Energy Exchange), Euler Hermes, the International Sugar Organization, Mahindra Satyam, MetLife, Moody's Analytics and Trinity Mirror.[16]
2= HSBC Building London.jpg 8 Canada Square 200 655 42 2002 The joint 26th-tallest building in Europe and third-tallest completed building in the United Kingdom. Occupied by HSBC as its world headquarters.[17]
2= Citigroup EMEA Centre.jpg 25 Canada Square 200 655 42 2001 The joint 26th-tallest building in Europe and third-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.[18] Other tenants include 3i Infotech, Lehman Brothers (in Administration), Crossrail, Instinet, Munich Re, MWB Group, SunGard and Wells Fargo.[16]
4 Barclays HQ.jpg One Churchill Place 156 513 32 2005 Occupied by Barclays as its world headquarters.[19] Currently the eighth-tallest building in the United Kingdom, it was originally planned to be 50 stories in height, but was scaled down to 31 after the September 11 attacks.
5= 40 Bank Street Heron Quay London.jpg 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.[16]
5= Jp morgan building.jpg 25 Bank Street 153 502 33 2003 Occupied by JP Morgan Chase as its European headquarters since 2012.[20]
7 10 Upper Bank Street London.jpg 10 Upper Bank Street 151 495 32 2003 Occupied by Clifford Chance as its world headquarters.[21] Other occupiers include FTSE Group, Infosys, MasterCard and Total.[16]
8 Pan Peninsula London.jpg Pan Peninsula 147 484 48 2008 Residential, twin-tower development containing 762 apartments. The East tower is 44 stories and the West Tower is 34 stories. The footprint of the building consists of a joint single lobby on the ground floor that connects the towers.[22]
9 22 Marsh Wall.jpg 22 Marsh Wall 140 458 44 2010 Residential, twin-tower development containing 276 apartments. The taller tower is 140 m tall and comprises 44 stories, making it one of the tallest residential buildings in Europe. The second tower is 98 m (322 ft) tall and comprises 30 stories. The towers are located on the south-western edge of the Canary Wharf estate.
10 OneWestIndiaQuay.jpg 1 West India Quay 108 354 36 2004 Floors 1-12 are occupied by a Marriott Hotel.[23] Floors 13-33 house 158 apartments.
11 33 Canada Square.jpg 33 Canada Square 105 344 18 1999 33 Canada Square and 25 Canada Square together form a single complex, see above for details.
12 1CabotSquare.jpg 1 Cabot Square 89 292 21 1991 Occupied by Credit Suisse.[24]
13 Exterior of 5 Canada Square.jpg 5 Canada Square 88 288 16 2003 Occupied by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.[16]
14 25CabotSquare.jpg 25 Cabot Square 81 265 17 1991 Occupied by Morgan Stanley. Morgan Stanley also occupies the nearby 20 Bank Street as its European headquarters.[25] The architect was Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.
15 FSA, 25 The North Colonnade, London.gif 25 North Colonnade 80 262 15 1991 Occupied by the Financial Conduct Authority as its headquarters.[16] The architect was John McAslan and Partners.
16 Morgan Stanley Building, Canary Wharf, London..jpg 20 Bank Street 68 223 14 2003 Occupied by Morgan Stanley as its European headquarters. Morgan Stanley also occupies the nearby 25 Cabot Square. It was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

Buildings under construction[edit]

Name Height Floors Expected Completion Date Status Notes
metres feet
25 Churchill Place 130 426 23 2014 Under construction
Baltimore Tower 151 492 45 2016 Under construction Due to be Canary Wharf's highest residential tower.[26]

Approved buildings[edit]

Name Height Floors Probable Completion Date Status Notes
metres feet
Columbus Tower 237 778 63  ? Construction Cancelled Was due to become Canary Wharf's tallest building upon completion. Construction was delayed due to the Crossrail construction and then halted after the land was sold to Ryan Corporation (UK). Construction of a residential building is now planned for the site
The Pride 233 764 76 2012 Planning permission granted
North Quay, Tower 1 221 727 44 2017 Planning permission granted
Heron Quays West 214 702 40 2017 Planning permission granted
Wood Wharf W07B 206 676 51 2019 Planning permission granted
North Quay, Tower 3 209 667 38 2017 Planning permission granted
Wood Wharf W06 187 618 45 2019 Planning permission granted
Wood Wharf W02 182 598 40+ 2019 Planning permission granted
Wood Wharf W07A 128 418 30+ 2019 Planning permission granted
North Quay, Tower 2 120 393 18 2017 Planning permission granted

Transport links[edit]

The Canary Wharf developers played a pro-active role in improving transport links, which they recognised as essential to the success of the project.

Beginning in 1985, they proposed extension of the Docklands Light Railway to Bank, and upgrading of frequencies and capacity.

In 1988, they proposed construction of a second rail line to Docklands, which ultimately became the Jubilee Line Extension. After the Jubilee Extension opened in 1999, Canary Wharf began to actively promote Crossrail.


London City Airport runway with Canary Wharf in the background

London City Airport is linked to both Canary Wharf and the City of London via the Docklands Light Railway, and an interchange to the London Underground. London City Airport DLR station is situated immediately adjacent to the terminal building, with enclosed access to and from the elevated platforms.


Canary Wharf is served by several bus routes, including the 135 which begins at Old Street Station and terminates at Crossharbour, the 277 route that begins at Highbury & Islington and ends at Leamouth, and the N550 night bus route that travels from Canning Town and ends at Trafalgar Square.

Canary Wharf is also served by local buses that go mostly around the London Docklands area. Routes include D3, D6, D7 and D8. There are also the Docklands Buses, which include six more bus routes in the Docklands.

Docklands Light Railway[edit]

A train arriving at Heron Quays DLR station

Canary Wharf Station[edit]

Canary Wharf Station had been part of the original DLR plans, but when the DLR opened in August 1987 the station was not ready. It was originally planned that the station would be similar to the original station at Heron Quays, with two small platforms either side of the tracks. The station is located on the DLR between Heron Quays station and the West India Quay station, in Travelcard Zone 2, which are in fact the three closest train stations on the same line in the world.[citation needed]

Heron Quays Station[edit]

One of the first stations to be built in the Canary Wharf estate.

The station first opened up in 1987.

The station has two platforms in use, is in Travelcard Zone 2, and is on the Lewisham branch of the Docklands Light Railway, between Canary Wharf and South Quay.

The station was moved 200 metres south (to fit inside the new buildings) and a longer platform was built at this new site to accommodate three-unit trains planned as part of the DLR Capacity Enhancement; the station re-opened on 18 December 2002.

London Underground[edit]

The interior of Canary Wharf tube station

The Canary Wharf tube station is a two platform station designed by Norman Foster and opened in 1999 as part of the Jubilee Line Extension from Charing Cross to Stratford. Canary Wharf station has increasingly become one of the busiest stations on the network, serving the ever-expanding Canary Wharf business district.

The station was used as a location for some scenes of Danny Boyle's 2002 film 28 Days Later and its sequel 28 Weeks Later which was mostly based in Canary Wharf.

National Rail[edit]

Canary Wharf railway station began construction in May 2009 and will be completed in 2017 as part of the £17 billion Crossrail project. The station will have two platforms and will be in the Travelcard Zone 2.

London River Services[edit]

Main article: Canary Wharf Pier

The Canary Wharf Pier is a London River Services pier on the River Thames located to the west of Canary Wharf, close to Narrow Street, Limehouse.


Cycle Superhighway CS3 between Tower Gateway and Barking passes to the north of Canary Wharf near Westferry station and the National Cycle Route passes to the west on the Thames Path.

In popular culture[edit]

"The Battle of Canary Wharf" is a pivotal event in the Doctor Who universe that occurs during the episode "Doomsday."

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Heron Tower becomes tallest building in The City". BBC News. 21 February 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  2. ^ "United Kingdom list of tallest buildings". Retrieved 2009-01-12. 
  3. ^ "Higher occupancy lifts Canary Wharf's Songbird". Reuters. 22 March 2007. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  4. ^ "Canary Wharf boss sees future in creative campus - Financial News". Retrieved March 3, 2014. 
  5. ^ "China to invest in Canary Wharf". China Economic Review. 31 August 2009. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c "History". Canary Wharf Group. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  7. ^ West India Docks (1803-1980) (Port Cities) accessed 22 July 2008
  8. ^ The West India Docks: The buildings: warehouses, Survey of London: volumes 43 and 44: Poplar, Blackwall and Isle of Dogs (1994), pp. 284-300. Retrieved 22 July 2008
  9. ^ "The Development of Transport in London Docklands - Part I: The Chronological Story". LDDC history. 17 July 1987. A New Era: the Coming of Canary Wharf. Retrieved 2009-01-12. 
  10. ^ The court found against the appellants (Hunter and others) as private nuisance legislation generally concerns 'emanations' from land, not interference with such emanations. "Hunter and Others v. Canary Wharf Ltd./Hunter and Others v. London Docklands Corporation" House of Lords Session 1996-97. Retrieved on 2009-03-23.
  11. ^ Glick family in late move over Canary Wharf battle
  12. ^ Saunders, Craig (19 June 2007). "Canary Wharf singing a red-hot tune". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2009-01-12. 
  13. ^ "Canary Wharf to get first residential building". The Telegraph. 16 March 2014. Retrieved 27 July 2014. 
  14. ^ a b c "Canary Wharf spreads east with new towers and 3,000 homes planned". The Guardian. 22 July 2014. Retrieved 27 July 2014. 
  15. ^ a b "Canary Wharf extension to entice tech companies away from Silicon roundabout". The Telegraph. 22 July 2014. Retrieved 27 July 2014. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f "Who's Here". Canary Wharf Group plc. Retrieved 13 November 2010. 
  17. ^ "Contact us". HSBC Holdings plc. Retrieved 13 November 2010. 
  18. ^ "£16bn cross-London project to take four floors in Canary Wharf tower". Property Week. 6 June 2008. Retrieved 13 November 2010. 
  19. ^ "Corporate enquiries". Barclays Bank PLC. Retrieved 13 November 2010. 
  20. ^ Canary Wharf Group plc - Estate Map. (2010-05-13). Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  21. ^ "United Kingdom". Clifford Chance. Retrieved 13 November 2010. 
  22. ^ "Pan Peninsula buyers "don't know which way to turn"". 16 April 2009. Retrieved 13 November 2010. 
  23. ^ "Contact Us". Marriott International, Inc. Retrieved 8 March 2011. 
  24. ^ "Contact Us". Credit Suisse. Retrieved 13 November 2010. 
  25. ^ "Morgan Stanley in the United Kingdom". Morgan Stanley. Retrieved 13 November 2010. 
  26. ^ "Galliard launches 45-storey resi tower in Canary Wharf". PrimeResi. 2013-10-01. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Kevin D'Arcy (2012). London's 2nd City: Creating Canary Wharf. Rajah Books. ISBN 0955670624. 

External links[edit]