Unique Images of Canary Wharf from the Late 80s to the Early 90s

I was fortunate to recently receive a lot of photos taken in the West India and Millwall Docks during the decade from the late 1980s. They show the construction and topping out of 1 Canada Square, as well as many views from the top of that building which show what the Island and further afield looked like after the docks and factories had been cleared away, and before the frenzied construction of apartment blocks and office buildings commenced.

Here are some of those photos, with little comment. I’ve not been sure what to do with them, how to best present them, but the only thing I was sure about is that they should be shared…..

Architectural Model



Topping Out






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5 Responses to Unique Images of Canary Wharf from the Late 80s to the Early 90s

  1. Joan Taylor says:

    Thanks for beautiful photos. Oh, the memories of hearing those foundation steel columns being driven into the docks for years! Even tho I left the Isle of Dogs some 18 years ago, I have very fond memories of living there for 38 years and seeing the area transformed into a vibrant success.

    • thanks for the comment, Joan

    • Hugo J.Wilhare says:

      Hi Joan, I fully agree with you, they are beautiful photos and to a certain extent I agree with your statement that the area has been transformed into a vibrant success, but the question has to be asked, for whom. I left the Island in 1973, after living there for 12 years in Cahir Street and Alpha Grove, just as destruction was really taking off. The Barkentine towers were complete and being occupied. We thought they were MASSIVE. Little did we know what was else coming. I also know that some old Islanders have gained employment in some of the new structures, but at what environmental cost. Some of the old buildings were renovated and reoccupied, but sadly very few. The vast swathes of ugly dysfunctional towers, absolutely dominate the older parts of the Island and in turn, dominate the people living there. There is no getting away from that. My thoughts are with those Islanders who were born and bread there and had NO OPTION but to watch as PURE greed took a lot of their Island from them and I wonder how long it will before their greedy eyes turn to the rest of the old Island.

  2. Karen Holland says:

    Amazing photos ! I had the privilege of seeing the architectural model of Canary wharf in its early stages – can’t quite remember how/why – think it was when I worked for Bovis..

  3. Donna Vincent says:

    I found these photos brought back loads of happy memories working on the project. I actually had the ‘privilege ‘ of going right to the top of DS7 as it was known, on the outside hoist!!!! When I look at it now I can’t believe I went up on that thing!!!!

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