Canary Wharf, located in Greater London, is highly regarded as a commercial centre. The 97-acre area has over 1.5 million square metres of retail and office space. Being the second largest financial district, it has some of the tallest and most spectacular buildings to be found in Europe. In fact, the skyline is a sight to behold and looks quite spectacular at night when the buildings are lit up. Canary Wharf was named in 1936 and takes its name from No. 32 berth of the West Wood Quay of the Import Dock. The dock was well used by many ships taking produce overseas, more notably to the Canary Islands.
Although there are so many buildings, Canary Wharf also has many beautiful open areas, including Cabot Square, Canada Square, and Westferry Circus. The Canary Wharf estate is made up of these open areas along with West India Quay, Wood Wharf and Heron Quays. It has some great residential space and offers plenty of shopping and sports activities in the redeveloped dockland area.
Here’s a little more on the key areas that make up Canary Wharf:
- Westferry Circus : Westferry Circus has a beautiful garden surrounded by custom-made railings that are ornamental in nature, as are the entrance gates. These were designed by the acclaimed artist, Giuseppe Lund.
- Canada Square : Canada Square is a central square that comes with a wonderfully large open space. The grass is perfect during the summer and during the winter, the space is turned into an ice rink. Below the square is a popular shopping mall.
- Cabot Square : Cabot Square is named after John Cabot and Sebastian Cabot, Italian explorers who made England their home in 1484. It is one of the largest squares in the area and is home to a central fountain with several smaller fountains and trees around the perimeter of the square.
- Churchill Place : Churchill Place is located on the east side of Canary Wharf and is, as you might expect, named after the famous UK Prime Minister, Winston Churchill.
- Columbus Courtyard : This is a small square named after the famous Christopher Columbus. The initial development of Canary Wharf was completed in 1992, and it was named to pay tribute to the achievements of Christopher Columbus 500 years after his discovery of America.
Today, Polar Docks and West India Quays have excellent marina facilities and many barges are moored there. The space is also used for river cruises for tourists.
HOUSING & RENTAL MARKET
The average cost of a studio apartment is around £300,000. For a 2-bedroom flat, you are looking at an average price of around £290,000.
The average listed rental price for a 2-bedroom property is around £2600 while a 3-bedroom apartment commands an average letting price of £3800. Isle of Dogs and Limehouse are the most popular residential areas around Canary Wharf.
Many bus routes enter Canary Wharf, including a 24-hour route to Highbury going through Bow, and Hackney Central as well other regions. The night route between Trafalgar Square and Canning Town can become especially busy, but this vital link has been running for a long time and has contributed to the successful development of the Canary Wharf estate.
Canary Wharf also has its own tube station with platforms serving the Jubilee line and, soon, the Elizabeth line (expected to start operating in autumn 2019). It also has the popular DLR (Docklands Light Railway) serving the redeveloped Docklands area and London City Airport.
There are a number of open spaces frequented by working professionals and families alike. Jubilee Park, a roof garden space constructed above an underground railway station, is an especially popular area for a little rest and relaxation at lunchtime.
The green area has shading, grass and water – all the elements needed for relaxation – and when the sun shines, it is a heavenly oasis.
THE HIGH STREET & BOUTIQUES
Canary Wharf is renowned as a chic shopping and dining area. There is also a good range of art and film theatres to choose from.
Three upmarket shopping malls boast a range of retailers from boho boutiques to designer outlets, including: Oasis, Michael Kors and Bremont. Of course, you can find many more other shopping outlets here – there’s something for every type of shopper out there!
THE PUBS & RESTAURANTS
When in Canary Wharf, your mood can reflect your dining experience. Whether you choose Indian soul food, such as that served by Chai-Ki or want to fix your chocolate addiction with a delicious assortment from Bad Brownie, this area has you covered.
Also try out Boisdale, which has a lively restaurant serving modern British food as well as a whisky bar, terrace, oyster bar & grill and cigar library, overlooking the city skyline.
There are many other eateries serving Italian, Mexican, Japanese, French cuisines, and you will find it easy to find good old-fashioned steak houses here too. Prices to suit every budget means you won’t be disappointed whether you want a quick bite or a full three-course meal in style.
There are numerous events that take place every month in the Canary Wharf area. If you are interested in a vibrant, upbeat festival, why not visit the Urban Food Fest in September? You will get to enjoy 4 days of gourmet food, street dance and music, or perhaps theatre productions are more your thing! Don’t forget the ice rink in Canada Square every year or the spectacular winter light bonanza that brings the whole of the Canary Wharf to life with a festival of light installations and interactive art. Truly not to be missed!
Of course, as Canary Wharf is the hub of activity during the day, this theme continues throughout the night too! There are many celebrities spotted eating out in some of the finest restaurants and some have made Canary Wharf their home. Stars such as the now deceased Roger Moore, Robert De Niro (when he visits the UK) and Kate Bush, just to mention just a handful. The annual BGC charity event attracts many stars, including recently the lovely Keira Knightly.
SCHOOLS & MEDICAL FACILITIES
There are a number of schools offering excellent facilities for pre-school or nursery to college. For example, Canada Square Day Nursery and Preschool are close to the Jubilee Line, making it easy to access. They also offer the 30-hour free funded school places. You can find more information about schools in Canary Wharf on Schoolsnet.
To fulfil their medical needs, residents in Canary Wharf often choose to go to the Royal London Hospital (Whitechapel), St Thomas’ Hospital (Southwark) or Great Osmond Street Hospital (Bloomsbury).
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