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Can Canary Wharf be a family-friendly area in London?

Over the years, Canary Wharf has become the rival business district of the more traditional, historical City.

It is located east of London in Zone 2, on a peninsula called “The Isle of Dogs”.

Historically, Canary Wharf has been a dockland area, where the boats from all around the world delivered their precious shipments. As a matter of fact, Canary Wharf was named after the Canary Islands, from where fruit used to be delivered on the quays.

From the 60’s onwards, when cargo transport began to decline, the Wharf was closed and left empty throughout the 80’s.

Its regeneration began in the late 80’s with the ambitious project to make it the new business district: a new English-style Manhattan, bringing London into the 21st century, but still with a sense of neighborhood and community through thoughtful architecture, parks and public spaces.

It is now home to prestigious financial companies, such as Barclays Capital, KPMG, Credit Suisse and HSBC, but it also hosts media and advertising companies.

For singles and families with young children working in the area, Canary Wharf can be an ideal place to live to avoid a highly time-consuming journey time.

While Canary Wharf’s first-generation housing was pads in gated schemes for bankers and corporate lawyers, or tiny flats for single IT staff, the new developments are more family-friendly. Some new high-rise property developments, such as Millharbour Village, even include “sky” nurseries and playgrounds on the roof-tops.

Moreover, the whole quarter has a strong seaside feeling being surrounded by river Thames, reinforced by the presence of Nautical basins and marinas.

For the little ones, a special mention for the City Farm of Mudchute, a working farm offering the children a multitude of activities: pony, animal discovery, nursery, …

For the grown-ups, the area is also full of fashionable restaurants (such as Roka, one of the best Japanese fusion restaurant in London) and a multitude of shops split into three shopping malls: in total, more than 300 shops & eateries.

Canary Wharf is extremely accessible as well by public transport: by tube with the Jubilee Line and DLR (Docklands Light Railway), an automated light metro system. In addition, it offers a river Thames Clipper Boat service run by TFL and is on immediate vicinity of the compact City Airport.

Nevertheless, one thing to consider for families is the lack of good quality state or independent English schools for grown up children in primary and secondary Years. The two City of London schools located in the City would be the nearest private schools.

On the property side, few properties have been thought for big families. The offer consists mainly of 1, 2 or 3 bedrooms properties. You will need to spend at least £ 2,500 / month for a three-bedroom property in a modern development. But prices can soar up to £ 10,000 per month for a penthouse on the top floor of a glamourous skyscraper.

Prices March 2017

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