Canary Wharf viewed from Limehouse
|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 London, England, located on 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. With 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 fourth-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 comprises 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.
West India Dock Company
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.
Port of London Authority
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. The Canary islands were so named after the large dogs found there by the Spanish (Canarias from Canine) and as it is located on the Isle of Dogs, the quay and warehouse were given the name Canary Wharf.
London Docklands Development Corporation
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.
Canary Wharf Group
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.
This table lists completed buildings in Canary Wharf that are at least 100 metres tall.
|Ranking by height||Image||Name||Height||Floors||Completion date||Notes|
|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 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.|
|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 world 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, Lehman Brothers (in Administration), Crossrail, Instinet, Munich Re, MWB Group, FIS, Interoute, NYK, and Wells Fargo.|
|8||Wardian London (East Tower)||187||614||55||2019||Residential tower|
|9||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 world headquarters. 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 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 JP Morgan Chase as its European headquarters since 2012.|
|14||10 Upper Bank Street||151||495||32||2003||Occupied by Clifford Chance as its world headquarters. Other occupiers include FTSE Group, Infosys, MasterCard, Deutsche Bank, and Total.|
|15||10 Park Drive
|16||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||140||458||44||2010||Residential tower|
|29||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||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.|
Corporations and Agencies
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, EY, Fitch Ratings, HSBC, Infosys, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, MetLife, Moody's, Morgan Stanley, RBC, 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.
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.
- Canada Square
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
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
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 underneath 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
Churchill Place is an area on the east side of Canary Wharf. It is named after Winston Churchill.
- Columbus Courtyard
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.
- Chancellor Passage
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.
- Wren Landing
Small area north of Cabot Square. Leads to North Dock footbridge towards Port East. Named after British architect Christopher Wren.
Local government elections
Every four years, residents of Canary Wharf ward elect two councillors to represent them on Tower Hamlets Council.
|Liberal Democrats||Kevin Lyons||315|
|Liberal Democrats||Gareth Shelton||222|
|Labour gain from Tower Hamlets First|
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.
- The Docklands Light Railway (DLR) calls at Canary Wharf, Heron Quays and West India Quay stations. The line opened in 1987.
- London Underground Jubilee line services call at Canary Wharf station. Eastbound trains travel to Stratford via North Greenwich, Canning Town and West Ham. Westbound trains link Canary Wharf to the West End and key London interchanges including London Bridge, Waterloo and Baker Street. Trains towards Central London eventually terminate in North West London.
- The Elizabeth Line (Crossrail) will call at Canary Wharf station. When the line opens, the line will provide the area with a frequent, direct connection to the City of London and the West End. Westbound trains will serve Central London and key interchanges at Liverpool Street and Paddington. Elizabeth line trains will also serve Heathrow Airport () and Reading, Berkshire to the west. Eastbound services will terminate at Abbey Wood.
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:
- A12 - begins in nearby Blackwall and carries traffic northeast towards Stratford, the M11 (for Stansted Airport ), and destinations in Essex and East Anglia.
- A13 (East India Dock Road) - westbound to Limehouse and the City of London (Aldgate); eastbound towards Barking, the M25 and Southend ().
- A102 (Blackwall Tunnel) - begins in nearby Blackwall and carries traffic southbound to Greenwich, the A2 and the A20 for destinations in Kent.
- A1020 (Lower Lea Crossing) - carries traffic eastbound to London City Airport ().
- A1203 (Limehouse Link) - carries traffic eastbound to Shadwell and the City of London (Tower Hill).
- A1205 (Burdett Road) - carries traffic northbound to Mile End and Hackney.
- A1206 (Westferry Circus/Prestons Road) - loops around the western, southern and eastern edges of the Isle of Dogs. Links to the A1261.
- A1261 (Aspen Way) - westbound to the A13 for Limehouse and the City; eastbound to the A1020 for City Airport () and the A13 towards Barking.
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.
- RB1 - eastbound to North Greenwich; westbound to Tower, London Bridge City, Bankside, Blackfriars, Embankment, the London Eye and Westminster.
- RB1X - eastbound to North Greenwich; westbound to Tower, London Bridge City, Bankside, Embankment, the London Eye and Westminster (limited service to Battersea Power Station).
- RB4 - crosses the Thames to Nelson Dock.
- RB6 - limited eastbound service towards Putney.
London City Airport is 3 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.
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:
- National Cycle Route 1 (NCR 1) - a leisure cycle route from Dover, Kent to Shetland, Scotland. The route is indirect, running through London on low-traffic paths. In North London, the route runs from the Greenwich Foot Tunnel to Enfield Lock via Canary Wharf, Mile End and Tottenham. The route runs to the west of Canary Wharf, parallel to the River Thames.
- EuroVelo 2 ("The Capitals Route") - an international leisure cycle route from Moscow, Russia to Galway, Ireland. In North London, EV2 follows the route of NCR 1.
- National Cycle Route 13 (NCR 13) - a leisure cycle route from the City to Fakenham, Norfolk. The route is indirect, running through East London on low-traffic paths. The route leaves London near Rainham.
- Cycle Superhighway 3 (CS3) - a commuter cycle route from Barking to West London. The route runs east-west through nearby Poplar on low-traffic or residential streets. The route is signposted and unbroken.
- East of Poplar, the route to Barking predominantly runs on traffic-free cycle track.
- West of Limehouse, the route runs on low-traffic or traffic-free paths to Shadwell. The route is signposted and unbroken. After Shadwell, the route becomes a traffic-free cycle track which provides Canary Wharf with a direct link to Tower Hill, Blackfriars, Westminster, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park Corner and Lancaster Gate.
- Cycleway from Hackney to the Isle of Dogs - proposed cycle link which would link Canary Wharf directly to Mile End on traffic-free cycle track.
- Limehouse Cut towpath - shared-use path from nearby Limehouse to Stratford. The route is traffic-free.
- Regent's Canal towpath - shared-use path from nearby Limehouse to Angel. The route is traffic-free and passes through Mile End, Haggerston, and Islington.
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.
Canary Wharf features in both the Doctor Who and Torchwood franchises as the fictional base of the Torchwood Institute, an organization created by Queen Victoria to combat extraterrestrial threats. Canary Wharf features heavily as the staging post for the 2006 Cyberman invasion of Earth and is heavily damaged during a resulting battle between the Cybermen and the Daleks.
The East London Advertiser (formerly The Docklands & East London Advertiser) is a local newspaper printing weekly and also online.
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