About the Area
Located in the borough of Tower Hamlets in Eastern London, Canary Wharf, along with City of London, is one of the city's primary financial centres. The name of the area is derived from the Canary Islands, which was the leading source of imports in the 19th century when the area was one of the busiest ports in the world and was known as the West India Docks. The usefulness of the port declined in the 20th century with the development of large shipping containers that left the small dock area inaccessible, and it was eventually closed in the early 1980's. In 1988, an office development was proposed by Olympia & York, a Canadian company, and construction began that same year. While the proposed development was initially an issue with locals because they thought it would not benefit them, it has provided jobs and improved transport for the area. Located on the Isle of Dogs, the area is surrounded by the water of the Thames in the north and the south, and extends from Trafalgar Way in the east to the midway point of West India Avenue in the west.
Places of Interest
Since the area was created specifically for office development, Canary Wharf is home to the headquarters of many internationally recognized companies including HSBC, Barclays and JP Morgan Chase. The area contains some of the tallest buildings in the United Kingdom as well as the former tallest building in the United Kingdom, One Canada Square. In addition to office space, the wharf also has a multitude of shopping and restaurant options. Whatever your taste, the possibilities range from a recently relocated Spanish restaurant (Iberica), a pub whose building dates back to the 18th century (The Gun), a restaurant featuring an amalgam of Asian cuisine (Sri Nam), and the classics of French cuisine (Plateau). Though the area is popular for restaurants, pubs, and summertime patios, there are also four main shopping malls located in Canary Wharf including Canada Place, Cabot Place, Jubilee Place, and Churchill Place. The stores range from international favourites like Zara to the luxury jewellery brand Tiffany's. Movie buffs might notice that the Underground station in Canary Wharf was the location for many scenes filmed in the movies 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later.
Many of the transport options that are available in Canary Wharf today are due to its development in the late 1980's. The only Underground station in Canary Wharf was opened in 1999 and is located in the northeast corner of Jubilee Park off of Upper Bank Street. As a result of the Canary Wharf development, the Docklands Light Railway was extended and two stations were created. Herons Quay Stations was originally opened in 1987 and serviced the area until it was revamped and opened again in 2002 while Canary Wharf Station, which was set to open earlier, eventually opened in November 1991. There are a number of bus lines that serve the area, including a number of local buses (D3-D8) that travel mostly through the Docklands area.