The second tallest building in the UK (and once, very briefly, the tallest building in Europe), Canary Wharf’s One Canada Tower is a symbol of London’s revamped Docklands.

The 50 storey skyscraper  (there’s also three underground) was designed by Cesar Pelli and constructed between 1988 and 1991. Containing some 1.2 million square feet of office space making it the largest office building in the UK, it was officially opened on 26th August of the latter year by Prince Philip.

Often called the Canary Wharf tower, One Canada Tower was apparently the first skyscraper to be clad in stainless steel and was designed to reflect the sky. There’s an aircraft warning light on top which flashes some 57,600 times a day.

An office building with no public observation deck, current tenants include a range of financial institutions as well as other companies such as the Trinity Mirror Group, owner of several UK newspapers.

As with other newer skyscrapers in London, One Canada Tower has been seen in its share of movies including in 28 Weeks Later and  Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.

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No, Canary Wharf is not so named because it was the centre of London’s lucrative trade in canaries.

Canary-WharfRather it received its name from the fact that it was at a quay here that ships from the Spanish Canary Islands and the Mediterranean landed laden with cargos of fruit.

The wharf, part of the West India Docks on the Isle of Dogs, was built in 1936 by Fruit Lines Limited and a warehouse the following year.

The area where the wharf was once located was redeveloped under a massive regeneration project starting in the late 1980s and is now one of London’s key financial districts, filled with modern, multi-storey office towers and home to the second-tallest tower in the UK, One Canada Square (seen above with the pyramid-shaped roof).

 

 

Skyline of Canary Wharf, Docklands, east London. Taken from a ferry on the Thames. Canary Wharf is one of the city’s main financial districts and is centred around One Canada Square (pictured with the pyramidal top), formerly the tallest building in the UK (it has been surpassed by The Shard).