Living in Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf was often accused of being soulless and shiny, but shopping malls and a John Lewis branch have lent a homely touch and the area is home to many residents as well as the 100,000 office workers that arrive on a daily basis. The majority of homes are found in swanky glass sky scrapers such as Pan Peninsula in South Quay, although many converted warehouses offer a more relaxed living style in West India Quay on the north side of the business district.

One of the capital’s hidden gems is the Museum of London Docklands, chronicling the history of the port. Set in a Georgian sugar warehouse, residents of Harbour Central can take a short walk to this respected museum and find out more about the history of E14.

Like going for an Indian at the Ritz, Dockmaster's House exudes a smart and luxurious feel and its cuisine is a curry above your standard takeaway fare. One of the areas prime hotspots, Scottish bar Boisdale, has regular live music and a cigar terrace. Serving the best pasta for nearly 20 years, Amerigo Vespucci is one of East London's premier Italian restaurants.

At ground floor level on Fisherman’s Walk at Canary Wharf, tables, chairs and merry-makers spill out of doors on to the riverside during the summer months.

Canary Wharf is on the Jubilee line with Stratford and Waterloo a 10-minute ride away. The DLR stations are around every street corner, bringing you to Bank and the Central Line in 13 minutes. If you’ve got time, the nicest way to get to central London is probably by river bus. Half an hour on the water to Embankment is a perfect start for a night out in London.

Property in Canary Wharf

  • Pan Peninsula Square, Isle of Dogs E14
  • Wood Warf, London SE10
  • Lincoln Plaza, Docklands E14
  • New Providence Wharf E14
  • Baltimore Wharf E14

Area History

From 1802 to 1939, 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 1980. Of the three main docks of the West India Docks on the Isle of Dogs, 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. Canary Wharf is located on the West India Docks on the Isle of Dogs. The docks were heavily bombed during the Blitz and after the Second World War the warehouses were replaced by modern storage sheds.

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 in 1981 and the granting of Urban Enterprise Zone status to the Isle of Dogs in 1982.

Today, Canary Wharf’s cluster of skyscrapers in east London is home to some of the world’s biggest banks, such as Citigroup and HSBC.

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 No 1 Canada Square project.

Canary Wharf is now spreading east, the first expansion of the estate since the 2008 financial crisis. There are plans for 30 buildings at Wood Wharf, including a 57-storey cylindrical residential skyscraper facing the waters of South Dock, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the Swiss architects behind Tate Modern and the Bird’s Nest in Beijing.

The eastern extension is set to almost double the number of people working and living in the area within the next 10 years. It will get a big boost from Crossrail, the £16bn railway running east-west across London that is due to open in 2018.