Canary Wharf April 2020

April 2020

Taken from Canada Water on a walk during the Covid 19 crisis featuring a quite River Thames and a still Canary Wharf with one remaining crane. Seen here from left to right The Diamond, 1 Bank Street, Landmark Pinnacle and the Wardian Towers under construction. 1 Canada Square and Cascades Tower from the first phrase of the Canary Wharf Development now looking slightly dwarfed from this viewpoint.

Once the busiest docks in the world but started to decline in use from 1960 onwards. As ships became larger docking moved further East to Tilbury in Essex. The docks closed in 1980 and the area fell into decline. The creation of the London Docklands Development Corporation in 1981 and granting the Isle of Dogs Enterprise Zone status in 1982. led to its current use as a major financial business district in addition to The City. In 1987 the Canadian company Olympia and York agreed to construct a major office development on the Isle of Dogs, with construction commencing in 1988.

The first buildings were completed in 1991 which included One Canada Square that became the UK's tallest building and a symbol of the regeneration of Docklands. Upon opening, the London commercial property market had collapsed and Olympia and York Canary Wharf Limited filed for bankruptcy in May 1992. Canary Wharf takes its name from the West Wood Quay of the Import Dock. This was built in 1936 for Fruit Lines Ltd, a subsidiary of Fred Olsen Lines for the Mediterranean and Canary Islands fruit trade. At their request, the quay and warehouse were given the name Canary Wharf.

In December 1995 an international consortium, backed by the former owners of Olympia and York and other investors, bought the scheme. The new company was called Canary Wharf Limited, and later became Canary Wharf Group. Recovery in the property market generally, coupled with continuing demand for high floor-plate grade A office accommodation, slowly improved the level of interest in the estate. A critical event in the recovery of Canary Wharf was the much delayed start of work on the Jubilee Line, which the government wanted ready for the Millennium celebrations.

Now Canary Wharf is thriving with thousands of new flats being built in the surrounding area, the Jubilee line has reached full capacity and it is often difficult to board trains, this will not ease until Crossrail opens in 2021. Who knows how this rapid development will be impacted now following the Covid 19 Pandemic, we hope this will return to some sort of normality in the near future.

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