45 Canary Wharf Facts: History, Economics And Much More | Kidadl


45 Canary Wharf Facts: History, Economics And Much More

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Canary Wharf is one of the most thriving areas in East London.

Situated on the Isle of Dogs, Canary Wharf was a part of the West India Docks before the trade took a hit and the government had to make decisions about the future of the place. With the recent renovations and expansions made by the Canary Wharf Group plc and the constant changes and betterments that are being made to increase the ease of commuter, Canary Wharf has become an asset to the economy of the United Kingdom.

Canary Wharf is now one of the best places in London to go to for some retail therapy or maybe even some time out and about during the weekend. There are numerous stores and eating joints to choose from depending on your taste and budget. The summer screenings are also sure to keep you entertained with the best of games being broadcast. If all this isn't enough, you can just as well be headed to Canary Wharf to pick up a nice bottle of wine to sit back and unwind with!

The creation of Canary Wharf into a business district was inspired by the simple fact that ships arriving at the West India Docks had reduced exponentially since the '60s, thus outlining the need to utilize the area in a better way. The result was what we see today. Keep reading for more facts!

Facts About Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf is famous amongst the people of London now but it also has a very rich history. It was once one of the busiest docks of London before the shipments reduced substantially and the entire area was revitalized and revamped by the British government.

  • Starting in the '80s, Canary Wharf was transformed into the business district that it now is.
  • Canary Wharf hosts many retail stores and restaurants.
  • When in Canary Wharf, you can be assured of some of the best delicacies from around the world.
  • There are plentiful cafes, bars and pubs to choose from according to your taste.
  • It has around 14 million sq ft (1.3 million sq m) of office and retail space.
  • More than 105,000 people are employed at Canary Wharf and the area has a daily footfall of around the same number.
  • The retail outlets at Canary Wharf get thousands of customers throughout the week, which is one of the reasons why this is one of the best places to visit if you want to experience life in London.
  • It is located in the Isle of Dogs. Understandably, you may find this name to be quite weird.
  • However, there is an explanation for the name. The Isle of Dogs is supposedly the place wherein Edward III's hounds were taken for training.
  • While this seems like an inadequate reason behind the naming of a place, we can hardly question what has been accepted over the span of so many decades.
  • The creation of Canary Wharf into such a retail space was opposed by many people of the locality initially.
  • This was because the London Docklands formed a small community of people who previously used to work in the West India Docks.
  • They believed that the London skyline was not benefitted from Canary Wharf.
  • Since the formation of this business district was quite a new idea in London, the localities expressed their concerns and even held processions with symbolic meaning to show that the culture of the Canary Wharf area would eventually die because of the extreme changes that were being made.
  • In the opinion of many people who lived around or were familiar with this part of East London, the idea of Canary Wharf and having to make do with a Manhattan skyline-like structure was quite difficult.
  • However, the decline of the port industry in the area left little to no options with the government and they were forced to change the area into what it stands as today!
  • Not only did the localities of Canary Wharf see the business district as a threat, but the entire city of London also seemed to initially share the sentiment!
  • The Canary Wharf Estate spans over around 97 acres (39.3 ha) which is enough to tell us how vast the area is!
  • With its own international airport which services over 30 important destinations, Canary Wharf has all that you could possibly ask for.
  • The number of people employed at Canary Wharf is set to double over the next couple of years, which not only suggests an expansion of the space but also that the number of people who will be visiting the place will also increase exponentially!
  • The Canary Wharf Estate was a part of Millwall, Limehouse, and Poplar for over a century.
  • It was only in the '60s when the port industry began to come to a halt, that the docks were closed.
  • The Canary Wharf Pier, which is located towards the western end of Canary Wharf, is situated on the River Thames.
  • The decline of docks has led to some very interesting and useful changes in Canary Wharf.
More than 100 events are held at Canary Wharf on an annual basis!

Canary Wharf's History

Canary Wharf's history is dotted with significant events. Not all the docks of Canary Wharf remain intact to this day, but the port industry here is still functional.

  • Canary Wharf was one of the biggest docks and was a part of the famous London Docklands.
  • The West India Docks was one of the world's busiest in the early 19th century.
  • These were also the first wet docks in the history of London, that would eventually become the heart of the imports of the British Empire.
  • The imported goods would include rum and sugar amongst other things.
  • Rum and fruit trade thrived at this time. In fact, the fruit imports from the Canary Islands may have been behind the name of the district altogether.
  • The Canary Islands were major suppliers of fruits during the 20th century and the 32nd berth of the Wood Word Quay was famous for the sheer amount of fruits that it received.
  • This berth was situated in the Import Dock.
  • Eventually, it was at the request of the Fruit Lines that the name was changed to Canary Wharf to honor the ship-loads of fruits that came from the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands.

Canary Wharf's Dockyard

Canary Wharf's dockyard is littered with many tall buildings and roadside wonders. Here are some things that you shouldn't miss out on when in Canary Wharf.

  • Canary Wharf houses the third tallest building in the United Kingdom, which is One Canada Square.
  • One Canada Square enjoyed the status of being the tallest building for a long time before it was replaced by a building named the Shard in the year 2012.
  • Canary Wharf is very optimized in terms of space as you can just as well use the offices that are built over railway stations!
  • The Canary Wharf Tube boasts of being so huge that one entire One Canada Square can lie down inside it completely. We can only hope that this is not actually executed literally!
  • It was in the year 2014 that the Canary Wharf Group plc was granted the rights of the expansion of the dockyard.
  • The north dock of Canary Wharf witnesses many aquatic birds and seals on an annual basis.
  • Since the reduction of the number of ships that arrive at and leave London from Canary Wharf, the number of species of fish available here has also increased considerably.
  • The Canary Wharf district is considered to be one of the most peaceful around London since there are very few major roads.
  • The Canary Wharf tube station was designed by none other than Norman Foster and was the site wherein movies such as '28 Days Later' and '28 Weeks Later' were filmed.
  • The Canary Wharf Crossrail project was granted a huge amount of funding in the year 2017.
  • 8 Canada Square is one of the tallest buildings in Canary Wharf.
  • A wine cellar in Canary Wharf boasts remote-controlled temperature settings and a range of wines that can be as cheap as £3.99-£4.25.
  • There are summer screenings in Canary Wharf that will make sure that you do not miss out on the important games!
Written By
Shirin Biswas

Shirin is a writer at Kidadl. She previously worked as an English teacher, and as an editor at Quizzy. While working at Big Books Publishing, she edited study guides for children. Shirin has a degree in English from Amity University, Noida, and has won awards for oratory, acting, and creative writing.

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