A Walk in Canary Wharf
When Nika Garret, proposed me to write an article about a Spanish related historic place in London, I immediately thought of writing about Canary Wharf because of the multiple significances for me.
Being one of London's two main financial centres – along with the traditional City of London – and home to the world headquarters of numerous major banks, professional services firms and media organisations, I have always been fascinated with it. Canary Wharf had an undeniable historical and commercial relationship with Spain for more than forty years, more concretely, with the Canary Islands – where I was born – that had also left an important trace in the history, culture and language of the islands.
Canary Wharf takes its name from No. 32 berth of the West Wood Quay of the Import Dock. This was built in 1936 for Fruit Lines Ltd, for the Mediterranean and Canary Islands fruit trade. At their request, the quay and warehouse were given the name Canary Wharf. That was the beginning of a lifelong relationship with the islands. Just a walk through the streets in Gran Canaria named after important English doctors or business personalities in the city, or a coffee with a “queque” (a cake in Canarian Spanish) will give you an idea of the depth of this historical, and even linguistic, influence.
Canary Wharf is also a very beautiful place to go for a walk with plenty of opportunities for photography enthusiast, like me, to take pictures of the futuristic buildings. It contains many of the UK's tallest buildings, One Canada Square, designed by Cesar Pelli, 1991, which is the 15th-tallest building in Europe and currently the second tallest completed building in the United Kingdom, the tallest being The Shard. Nowadays, future and art merge in its streets. Just only some of my favourite examples of modern architecture are, HSBC Tower, third-tallest completed building in the United Kingdom, the not that tall building occupied almost completely by Marriott Hotel and apartments, at 1 West India Quay, or the stunning Pan Peninsula residential building. Also worth admiring, the Canary Wharf tube station designed by Norman Foster and opened in 1999, part of the Jubilee Line Extension from Charing Cross to Stratford, and the constantly changing sculptures in the streets. Not to be missed the skyline from the other side of the river or Stave Hill day and night time. Beautiful!