Guide type: Area Guide
10th March 2017
Over the past 30 years, the population of the Docklands has more than doubled, transport links have significantly improved and the area has become both a booming financial district and an increasingly popular area to live. Whilst cobbled lanes still criss-cross in Wapping, and the historic Tower of London stands proud further upstream, Canary Wharf stands as a contemporary symbol of the district’s current trading power.
The impressive Harbour Central will include five residential buildings and a leisure complex, and will be ideally situated less than 10 minutes from the heart of Canary Wharf. Once complete, this mixed-use development will provide a vast range of highly-specified properties and opulent reception foyers designed by Nicola Fontanella, whilst the leisure complex will include a “Resident’s Club” with a proposed library, concierge, gym and spa, business suites and cinema.
A brand new Docklands development, Orchard Wharf will be just minutes' from Canary Wharf. Boasting a 28-storey tower and a cascading effect of steeped blocks, this development will be a spectacular sight to be behold. Along with luxurious specifications to each apartment, residents will have access to a daytime concierge and a private residents' lounge.
This previously sold-out development is now back on the market with a superb offering of 22 one, two and three highly-specified apartments, situated only a five minute walk from Canning Town Tube and DLR station. The majority of apartments at St Luke's Square will enjoy dual aspects and access to a private patio/terrace area, whilst all are expected to exhibit an exposed London Stock brick feature wall for a chic, contemporary touch.
Royal Gateway is an all private development comprising of 336 exclusive apartments and penthouses, central to London’s most prolific regeneration master plan – The Royal Docks. The majority of upper level apartments and penthouses will have superb unrestricted views over the Royal Docks and London’s iconic skyline.
Wapping Riverside is a spectacular Thameside warehouse conversion, set to redefine luxury waterfront living. This ultra-chic development presides over the river and promises dramatic views of the Thames between Tower Bridge and Canary Wharf. Wapping Riverside will offer an elite selection of 37 loft-style apartments and duplexes ranging from one to three bedrooms.
Set to become a new landmark for luxury living, The Apartments at 9 Baltimore Wharf will incorporate 14 exclusive residences set within a gracefully curved building surrounded by picturesque communal grounds. Residents will enjoy direct access to “The Club” - a fully-equipped cardio suite completed by a world championship length 25m pool.
Offering breathtaking views, first class facilities and superlative living accommodation in a location of international status, Lincoln Plaza is set to provide one of the most prestigious and sophisticated new landmarks on Canary Wharf’s iconic skyline.
Much of London’s success in history has revolved around the Thames and the city’s access to water. However, it wasn’t until the 17th century, that Londoners started to seriously use the water access of the East End. In the 1690s, a dock was built at Rotherhithe; this location worked so well that further docks were built close by, including West India Dock and St Katherine Dock. The docks attracted workers from all over making the East End a densely populated area. Although the businesses at the docks helped promote London’s commercial businesses, this was not a wealthy area and it suffered from problems with poverty and crime.
During the Second World War, the docks made the East End a prime target for German bombing raids. There was some rebuilding work after the war and the docks continued to operate. But, by the 1970s, the city’s docks were not big enough to deal with container ships and much of London’s industry moved out to ports with deeper water access.
By the 1980s, all of the East End’s major docks had closed down. This caused locals a lot of problems. Unemployment rocketed and the area once again became known as a problem place in social, economic and crime terms.
In the early 1980s, the government set up the London Docklands Development Corporation to try and pull things together and make something happen. New business rules were established including tax exemptions and capital allowances – this made the land immediately more attractive to businesses and probably kick-started the whole redevelopment phase.
Opportunities for shopping in Canary Wharf are not thin on the ground as, after business and finance, the district is best known for its impressive four shopping centres.
Luxurious brands such as Tiffany Co., Jo Malone, Jaeger London and Montblanc sit side by side with high street names such as Topshop, Reiss, Whistles and Zara.
There is also a selection of quintessentially British brands such as Aquascutum, Aspinal of London, and Hackett as well as smaller independent shops and designer boutiques.
Of the four malls, Canada Place alone houses the flagship Waitrose Food Home store, ‘Plateau Restaurant, Bar Grill’ offering fine dining and incredible views and a Reebok Sports Club - the largest health club in Europe.
The sheer variety and amount of food on offer in Canary Wharf can make the choice to eat incredibly daunting. Whether you choose to pay homage to our nation with hearty British food in Tom’s Kitchen; dip into the oriental at Roka with traditional Japanese rice wine in hand; indulge in an Italian spread in Carluccio’s or stroll through the streets of Mexico with Wahaca’s market-style tapas, you will not be disappointed. Additionally, not to be missed is the hugely popular Lunch Market in Montgomery Square during the spring and summer seasons. Local produce mingles with exotic dishes to take visitors on a culinary revolution around the world offering high quality ingredients and interesting new flavour combinations.
Providing an idyllic setting of fairy lit trees against a striking backdrop of the city horizon, in the heart of the capital, Canada Square transforms in the winter months into a fully accessible ice skating rink with an outdoor viewing terrace and bar for those who prefer to observe.
A well-known and slightly peculiar monument located at the edge of Canary Wharf, the Traffic Light Tree is a construction comprised of seventy-five traffic lights by the French artist Pierre Vivant. Mounted in 1998, replacing a dying tree it symbolises the relentless character of Canary Wharf.
Mudchute Park and Farm, located in the Isle of Dogs is labelled as one of the largest city-centred farms in Europe. With over 200 animals including rare British breeds and an outdoor park area it is a great opportunity to move outside the city bubble. Across the year they also host a variety of events including a Christmas Fair and an Easter Parade providing seasonal entertainment for a wide audience.
The East Wintergarden is renowned as a prestigious and impressive venue hosting events ranging from private weddings to one-off concerts and exclusive screenings of RSC performances direct from Stratford-upon-Avon.
The premier lobby of One Canada Square also houses exhibitions, predominantly sculpture and art whilst throughout Canary Wharf, sports tournaments and challenges are held from the squash classic to cycling experiences.
Set in a Georgian sugar warehouse, the Museum of London Docklands chronicles the history of the port, detailing stories of trade and migration throughout the 19th century. A number of cutting edge galleries with unique articles combine with consistently evolving exhibitions to provide a vibrant and fascinating interactive tour of archaic London.
Churchill Place, Canary Wharf is home to one of the few Idea Stores in London. An Idea Store not only offers library services but also a variety of learning courses for adults as well as children and an expansive activities programme.
The Docklands Light Railway (DLR) makes travelling around the docklands easy. Views from the railway are spectacular and the experience is heightened by the elevated sections and winding route.
The Jubilee line promotes rapid links with London Bridge, Westminster and Waterloo to name a few. Travelling seven minutes to London Bridge you can connect with the Northern line; on arrival at Westminster the Circle and District lines; Waterloo brings you the Northern and Bakerloo lines as well as the Waterloo and City line, effectively opening up the majority of the underground.
Canary Wharf offers four underground public car parks with over 2,500 spaces, subject to parking fees, and a further 4,500 in the local area. Valet service is offered in both Canada Place and Cabot Place car parks and furthermore, bicycle and motorcycle spaces are available in several locations.
Crossrail is the new high-frequency, high-capacity railway for London and the South East. From improving journey times across London, to easing congestion and offering better connections, Crossrail will change the way people travel around the city. Canary Wharf will benefit from the arrival of Crossrail in 2018, with an estimated 25 million passengers expected to use the station every year. Take a look at the Crossrail property hotspots here.