Canary Wharf and Docklands transformed

The Museum of London Docklands, Canary Wharf E14

A view of Canary Wharf and Docklands

Canary Wharf and Docklands have been transformed into a thriving and exciting place to live, work, and enjoy your leisure time. The area today continues its transformation since the regeneration of the old shipping docks some forty years ago. The impressive, towering skyline of Canary Wharf was constructed on the former West India Docks in the Isle of Dogs. The original West India Dock was founded in 1800 and became the first enclosed London dock. The dock itself opened officially in 1802. Many commodities, including rum and sugars shipped from afar, were unloaded there for onward distribution.

Seven of the nine large warehouses of West India Dock were destroyed in WWII. However, the warehouses now house trendy restaurants with outside seating for al fresco diners. The Museum of London Docklands is at No.1 Warehouse, West India Quay. The museum provides a graphic presentation of Dockland's history to the present day.

Canary Wharf's association with workers stretches back to the 19th Century. Dockworkers waited at the dock gates each morning, hoping to receive a day's work. These days and more in keeping with the area's profile, you are more likely to encounter workers in Saville Row suits than dockworkers' overalls.

Canary Wharf tower's construction was completed in 1991. The initial redevelopment of the overall site resulted from work undertaken by the London Docklands Development Corporation during the 1980s. Canary Wharf is a famous and iconic landmark, and for many years London's tallest building was eclipsed by The Shard in 2012 and 22 Bishopsgate in 2019. In addition, one Canada Square and the adjacent towers are synonymous with finance. HSBC, Barclays, Citi Group and J.P. Morgan have connections and high-profile offices here.

The impressive commercial towers sit atop The Isle of Dogs, which rather than being an island, is a horseshoe-shaped piece of land alongside the river where Henry VIII is said to have exercised his dogs. Today, many luxury residential developments have added their profiles to the Canary Wharf skyline, and they complement the existing developments populating the horseshoe.

Canary Wharf and Docklands hold many maritime and engineering connections as riverside areas. The ground-breaking British engineer and shipbuilder Brunel launched the iconic SS Great Eastern from the Isle of Dogs back in 1858. It was the largest passenger ship in the world at the time. Canary Wharf Underground Station, designed by British Architect Norman Foster, is so vast that it could accommodate the Canary Wharf Tower laid on its side. The station complex will also form part of the ongoing Crossrail project.

Art & Culture formed part of the design vision for Canary Wharf, and Sir Roy Strong, the former director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, advised on design matters. Permanent and temporary artworks have populated the locale helping to provide soul and a sense of homeliness to the area. Cabot Square's central and state of the art fountain is popular with parkgoers at lunchtime. A computer manages the fountain, and the processor checks wind speed and direction to prevent visitors from getting soaked.

Pierre Vivant designed another landmark, the 'Traffic Light Tree' on Trafalgar Way near Billingsgate Market is a sight to behold and has caused many motorists to hesitate on approach. There is a thriving retail sector within Canary Wharf. Small boutiques rub shoulders with high street icons and designer boutiques. In addition, you will find a multitude of cafes, restaurants, bars, and wide-ranging entertainment options.

Our Canary Wharf and Docklands Office in Westferry Road has sold and let many properties in the area, and they can establish the sales or rental value of your property.

Written by Alex Neil Estate Agents

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