Address: Canary Wharf, London E14 5AB

2000m from Limehouse

0m from Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf Tower is the building that dominates the skyline of east London. It lies just north of the river on the Isle of Dogs and is surrounded by other large buildings in what has become London’s second financial district.

London has traditionally had its financial area in the ‘City’, a relatively small area near St Pauls. This was based around Threadneedle Street and saw the Bank of England and the Royal Exchange operating from the 17th century. At the time London was the busiest port in the world and it continued to be a major port right up to the early 1960’s when it had a peak year, dealing with 60 million tons of cargo.

For various reasons eg technology and containerisation, trade decreased and by the early 1970’s most docks closed with the West India Dock closing in 1980. This led to an area of empty buildings and unemployment, but created the idea of a Docklands development. In 1982 the area became a government Enterprise Zone with benefits for developers and investors.

This led, in 1987, to the Docklands light railway and City Airport opening together with the Canary Wharf Tower contract being signed. The name Canary Wharf was chosen as it was the old name for 32, Westwood Quay which was built nearby in 1936 and was used for the Canary Islands fruit trade.

The address of the main tower is 1, Canada Square and when built it was the tallest building in Europe. Work started in 1980 and the steel pyramid went on the top in 1990. It is 235m high and has 50 floors. Tenants in the building include Trinity Mirror, whilst in the surrounding buildings most major finance institutions have a presence. These include Barclays, HSBC and Citigroup with, in total, 90,000 people working in the area.

Whilst not recognised as a tourist site, the iconic riverside towers make Canary Wharf one of the most famous London landmarks.

Click on the pics below for an enlarged view and use the arrow towards the right edge of each pic to go on to the next.