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The Upper Lofts are unveiled at Canary Wharf’s 8 Harbord Square

Open-plan, top-floor apartments go on sale at New York-inspired Wood Wharf residential building

Image shows the view from a terrace at 8 Harbord Square, overlooking The O2 and Greenwich Peninsula
The Upper Lofts sit on the top floor of 8 Harbord Square

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The residential properties contained on the lower levels of 8 Harbord Square are a brave, bold statement.

Presented almost completely open-plan (you do get walled off bathrooms), they recall Docklands’ warehouses with more than a nod, stylistically, to the red-brick structures of New York’s Meatpacking District.

But while the flavour is of industrial buildings cleverly converted for residential use, the 11-storey tower is newly built, meaning it comes with none of the hassle or dodgy bodges that can plague refurbishment projects.

Instead, the exposed concrete ceilings, black metal framed windows and cast iron radiators are all carefully thought-through design statements contained within a thoroughly modern structure.

Image shows a space dressed with a green sofa, marble table and various green and blue soft furnishings
The apartments offer a completely open-plan design with industrial details

Capping the whole thing off, developer Canary Wharf Group has now launched a pair of apartments on the building’s top floor.

The Upper Lofts, both priced at £1,950,000, feature internal living space of 1,400sq ft and feature wrap-around terraces of more than 1,000 sq ft. 

Properties feature fully-fitted kitchens with stainless steel units and counter tops as well as Siemens appliances.

Bathrooms come with free standing baths, double basins and black-framed, walk-in showers.

Image shows a stainless steel kitchen in one of The Upper Lofts at 8 Harbord Sqaure with a marble table and breakfast bar in the foreground
The 8 Harbord Square homes come with fully fitted stainless steel kitchens

a singular offering at 8 Harbord Square

Canary Wharf Group director of residential sales, Melanie Conway, said: “The expression ‘one-of-a-kind’ is sometimes overused, but in this instance, The Upper Lofts represent ‘two-of-a-kind’ apartments not seen before in London. 

“Their positioning within 8 Harbord Square and the wider Canary Wharf estate gives them views of iconic surrounding landmarks, which previously you would only have seen from some of our tallest residential buildings.

“With vast wrap-around terraces and totally open plan living spaces, they have been designed to take advantage of these views and the natural light that floods the spaces, giving residents the most incredible sunrises and sunsets. 

“8 Harbord Square marks the final building in our residential portfolio on the estate, meaning it’s the last opportunity to own a piece of the Wharf’s rich history and to be a part of the incredible transformation that has taken place here.”

Image shows chairs and coffee tables in The Upper Lofts show apartment
Residents are free to configure and dress their apartment however they like

an emerging neighbourhood

Part of Canary Wharf’s Wood Wharf development, 8 Harbord Square is the final building in Canary Wharf Group’s scheme to feature homes for private sale.

Further residential projects will fall under its wholly-owned subsidiary Vertus, which boasts an extensive portfolio of homes to live in via all-inclusive rental deals.

Wood Wharf itself is rapidly becoming established as an area to visit with restaurants such as Dishoom, Hawksmoor, MMy Wood Wharf, Emilia’s Crafted Pasta and Roe attracting a steady stream of visitors.

Third Space recently opened a new site locally, adding Hot Yoga, Reformer Pilates and a new 20m swimming pool to its Canary Wharf offering, while creative companies such as Qube, Vow Studio and Broadwick also now call the neighbourhood home.

The Cube, a competitive socialising experience is set to open nearby, while Harbord Square itself now boasts a vet, GP surgery, convenience store and a sports hall and gym complex for residents to investigate. 

Image shows a terrace at 8 Harbord Square with views of the Canary Wharf skyline in the background
The Upper Lofts feature wrap-around terraces with views over London

key details – 8 Harbord Square

The Upper Lofts at 8 Harbord Square are both priced at £1,950,000.

Other properties in the 82-apartment building start at £770,000 for an 801sq ft home or £990,000 for 1,037sq ft. 

Find out more about The Upper Lofts here

Read more: How Third Space has expanded its offering at Canary Wharf

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
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Canary Wharf: How Paws On The Wharf highlights and celebrates Guide Dogs’ work

Charity teams up with Citi, Canary Wharf Group, Wild In Art and the Canal And River Trust to create trail

Guide Dogs has placed a trail of 25 sculptures across the Canary Wharf area

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Kudos to Guide Dogs, Wild In Art, Citi, Canary Wharf Group and the Canal And River Trust.

The organisations have come together to create a pop-up trail of 25 sculptures, celebrating and raising awareness of the charity’s work.

Inspired by a London-based guide dog called Theia, each of the canine statues has been decorated by a different artist, forming a route that takes visitors across Canary Wharf as well as to West India Quay and Canary Garden.

“The Paws On The Wharf trail features sculptures scattered all over this area with a total distance of about 5km,” said Guide Dogs CEO, Andrew Lennox, at the launch event. 

“We’ve only just launched and we’re already seeing such great engagement and involvement with the public.

“People who see these sculptures are appreciating the art, but also learning more about the impact Guide Dogs has on people’s lives every single day and the artists behind the creations.

The sculptures can be found at West India Quay as well as in Canary Wharf and Canary Garden on South Quay

“We had Theia at the launch, who is a dog sponsored by one of our amazing partners Citi, which is also supporting the trail.”

Jackson Mendosa, chief of staff to Citi’s UK CEO, added: “Two things that make this trail stand out are accessibility and inclusivity, which are also concepts we believe we embrace as a firm through our staff and our business. 

“Guide Dogs was our charity partner between 2020 and 2022, with Theia the result of that relationship – but it was also the start of this initiative.

Paws On The Wharf’s first sculpture is just outside Citi’s offices and I’d like to thank everyone involved in the trail – it’s really something phenomenal.”

Key among those involved are, of course, the artists.

Sian Healey and Uri

Sian Healey created Guide Dog Adventures for the trail, which can be found near the eastern exit from Canary Wharf’s Crossrail Station.

She said: “I’m from Cardiff and I’ve been visually impaired since I was a child, due to a form of albinism that affects my eyes, hair and skin.

“I lose melanin slowly over time.

“I’ve always needed extra support and help throughout my life, whether that was with education or mobility and, eventually I applied for a guide dog, which now gives me independence.

“I had my first guide dog 15 years ago when my children were young and that opened up my world considerably.

“I had been pretty independent before when I was on my own – using my cane and hiding my disability as much as possible.

“But with young children you can no longer do that because you could be putting them in danger.

Sian’s postcard of London

“Once I had children, I had to accept how poor my vision was – how potentially dangerous simple tasks like walking across a road could be – and I had to reach out and accept help, because it was affecting my mental health too.”

Having donated artwork to Guide Dogs as a way of giving something back to the charity, Sian was invited to contribute a piece to the trail.

She said: “I submitted a few ideas which were developed and eventually accepted.

“Then, one day, Wild In Art delivered a big statue of a guide dog to my home and I was left with the paints.

“Uri – my current guide dog – didn’t like him at all.

“We had to cover the sculpture with a duvet most of the time. Uri wouldn’t go near him, even while I was working.

“I wanted my piece to be about being a guide dog owner and, of the 25, mine is probably the most realistic-looking.

“He’s in a traditional harness and has a nose that’s the same colour as Uri’s.

“Then I thought about what these dogs do for us and how I could depict that.

Sian’s postcard from Northern Ireland

“The main thing is to do with travel – getting out and about and doing things.

“So I thought of postcards of different places people had been with their guide dogs.

“The organisers wanted it to reflect all parts of the UK, so I have views from Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales.

“I also wanted it to reflect the diversity of what the charity offers, so there are different dogs on there – labradors, retrievers and a shepherd – with a variety of owners.

“I’ve always painted and drawn, although I did stop for a while.

“It started picking up again when I had my first guide dog, who helped me to get to art classes and build my confidence up.

“It’s something I’ve always loved doing, and my artwork is different from other people’s because of the way I see – it’s very blurry and abstract at times, because that’s the way my world is.

“I have no depth vision, so that’s why my paintings are a bit flat but very bright.

“I have to wear dark glasses and hats all the time because the light burns my eyes and I have no colouring in the back of them.

Sian’s postcard from Wales

“In certain lights I can’t see anything at all, but in other lights I can see quite well up to my nose.

“My sight is constantly changing and it’s not something I can depend on. 

“It’s quite a buzz to have a piece included in the trail.

“I hope Paws On The Wharf helps people understand that visual impairment is a spectrum, not just one thing and that this trail helps raise awareness.” 

Following the trail, the sculptures are set to be auctioned off to raise money for Guide Dogs.

This will take place at the Saatchi Gallery on June 5, 2024, with a limited number of tickets, costing £20, available on an application basis.

Prices will start at £2,000. Those interested in attending should in the first instance email pawsonthewharf@guidedogs.org.uk for more information.   

Guide Dog Adventures by Sian Healey can be found outside the east exit of the Elizabeth Line station at Canary Wharf

key details

The Paws On The Wharf trail starts in Jubilee Park and is available to follow from now until May 17, 2024.

Visitors can tour the sculptures at their leisure using either a digital or printed map.

A limited number of free, bookable, 90-minute multi-sensory tours – with priority spaces for people with sight loss and the option to request a sighted guide – will also be held on various dates during the trail’s run.

These will include both items to smell and touch. 

Find our more about Paws On The Wharf here

Read more: How St James’ Bow Green development is at one with nature

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
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Canary Wharf: Why Canary Wharf Group is launching Wharf Connect

Network is aimed at bringing young professionals together for a vibrant programme of events

Wharf Connect is aimed at professionals in the first 10 years of their careers

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“The role of the landlord is evolving all the time – is it enough to simply let a building? Probably not,” said Jane Hollinshead, chief people officer at Canary Wharf Group.

Things have changed in the world of work in the wake of the pandemic and the company that runs the estate is firmly in listening mode – especially when it comes to young people.  

That’s the thinking behind the creation of Wharf Connect – a free membership community aimed at professionals in the first stages of their careers with a packed programmed of events and opportunities planned.

“We’re hearing a lot more from companies about what their employees want,” said Jane.

“Our customers are saying: ‘Bring people back to the office, listen to what the next generation want, which is something more experiential’.

“It’s made us think about what we’ve got at Canary Wharf and how, as a landlord, we’re in a position to curate experiences because we’ve got so many different amenities.

“We also picked up another dynamic through running our own intern programme last year.

“Often, when you’ve got new employees coming in from outside London, moving to a huge metropolis can be quite overwhelming.

“For them, it’s about how quickly they can immerse themselves in a business and the geography around them, as well as feeling like they’ve got a network of friends and colleagues.

“So Wharf Connect is about how we work with our customers.

“The genesis of it is in the idea that people are the greatest asset companies have. 

“They are the fundamental part of what makes a business succeed, so what would something look like that was created to bring young professionals together?”

Wharf Connect’s stated aim is to convene a network in a way that enhances people’s engagement with the office environment, fosters employee retention and plugs workers into the wider world of Canary Wharf.

“What’s interesting from a post-pandemic perspective is that, 10 years ago – if we were talking to different tenants about their graduates or apprentices – firms probably weren’t so open to their people mixing with peers at other organisations,” said Jane.

“It was very much about investment in their own people. 

“But now, a lot of big corporates  are thinking about how to listen to what the next generation wants – whether that’s learning, wellbeing sessions or networking and bringing people together.

“Either organised internally or with other bodies, the idea is that those participating in these networks really benefit. 

“The social aspect of this is also very big.

“We feel, at Canary Wharf Group, that we have a responsibility to do this and it’s very much a reflection of what we’re trying to do in creating a customer-centric approach to how we interact with everyone around the estate.  

“We’re in this incredibly privileged position to be able to do that because of the amenities we have and the scale of this place.”

Wharf Connect’s programme is aimed at bringing people together on the estate

Wharf Connect is open to anyone working on the Canary Wharf estate who has spent 10 years or less in their current sector.

Members will have access to talks from leading experts, networking events and workshops on leadership.

There will also be events held in partnership with local retailers and hospitality businesses, as well as health and wellbeing organisations. 

Members of the community will be made aware of local volunteering opportunities, as well as exclusive offers via the Canary Wharf App.

“One of the big events we’re going to have is with entrepreneur Steven Bartlett on February 8, 2024, following on from his appearance in our Wharf Talks series last year.

“Broadly, Wharf Connect’s events, initiatives and offers will focus on personal development. Some people will be wondering where their career will take them.

“Many events will be held in collaboration with businesses on the Wharf – events at Dishoom or Electric Shuffle, for example. 

“We think exploring what’s on offer on the estate is better in a group.

“As a member, you’ll be getting carefully thought through, curated experiences – we’ll be bringing people into new spaces so they can experience them and benefit from that.” 

Wharf Connect is free to join, with workers on the estate able to apply for membership via the Canary Wharf App. 

At sign-up, users must select “I work here” and fill out their details, including selecting the company they are employed by from the list, or choosing “Company Not Listed” for organisations not mentioned. 

Prospective members should sign up using their work email address so Canary Wharf Group can verify they are based on the estate.

“The relationship between landlords and tenants is becoming a partnership,” said Jane. 

“Not only do you have to create a sustainable collaboration space, you need to be curating an experience.

“It will be really interesting to see how Wharf Connect develops – how many people get involved. 

“Personally, I like the idea that there’s give and take in it – what are people offering to this community? 

“If it results in more people volunteering who wouldn’t otherwise do so, then that’s great. 

“Members may also spread the word of what Canary Wharf really is and that’s positive too. 

“A lot of the benefits are nuanced and intangible – they exist above the hard line data – and you’ll see those trickling through.

Wharf Connect will create allies and advocates for the Wharf and I think that will become exponential in terms of its effects. 

“The question for us is always: ‘What we can do to make our customers’ experience more immersive and accessible?’.”

Wharf Connect is accepting applications for membership now via the Canary Wharf App, which can be downloaded for both Android and iOS devices.

Read more: How the SS Robin has returned home to begin a new life

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
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Canary Wharf: How The Felix Project’s Santa Stair Climb will help feed Londoners

Challenge will see participants scale 48 floors of One Canada Square to raise cash for the charity

The Felix Project’s first Santa Stair Climb will take place in November 2023

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What links green Father Christmas hats, One Canada Square and the distribution of unwanted food to people in need?

The answer is the Santa Stair Climb in Canary Wharf on Sunday, November 19, 2023, and anyone can take part.

As part of its ongoing partnership with Canary Wharf Group, food rescue charity The Felix Project is challenging people to a sponsored walk up a total of 1,031 steps at One Canada Square to reach the tower’s 48th floor. 

With early-bird registration just launched, there are 1,000 places up for grabs at £25 per person, with each individual given a fundraising target of £300. 

Participants receive a personalised green shirt and Santa’s hat to wear during the challenge, with ascents expected to take just over half an hour on average.

“I’ve been training for it, but I’m not sure I’ll be doing it that fast,” said Tanya Mitchell, director of income generation and marketing at The Felix Project.

“But I will complete it, even if it takes me an hour.

“We’ll have staggered start times between 10am and 2.30pm with 100 people in each wave so the stairwell doesn’t get too busy.

“Participants are asked to arrive an hour beforehand and we’ll be running activities in the lobby with a warm-up and an MC overseeing things.

“We’ve also been gifted the use of the 48th floor for the day, which has the most outstanding views over the London skyline from near the top of the third tallest building in the UK.

“They really are exceptional and this is a rare chance to see them.

“We’re hoping to raise as much money as possible, but we’ve set ourselves a target of £300,000 for this first event.

“That would equate to us being able to make and distribute 870,000 meals to Londoners.”

Participants will take on 48 floors of stairs at One Canada Square

For those who don’t know, The Felix Project is the largest charity of its kind in the capital, collecting food that would otherwise be wasted and redistributing it via a network of organisations to those in need.

“Right now it’s estimated that there are 1.2million people in London living with food insecurity or in food poverty – about 20%,” said Tanya.

“Through our own research with YouGov, we looked at people on low incomes earning an average salary of £20,000 and it’s shocking that one in 10 of them has only £2.95 a day to spend on food.

“We work with more than 500 food suppliers, rescuing produce from farm gates, grocers and the hospitality industry to supply really good, nutritious, fresh meals.

“We operate through four depots in London, taking that food in hour-by-hour, day-by-day, six days a week, 12 hours a day to help serve the needs of more than 1,000 charities and organisations in the capital.

“What that £300,000 would mean is that we’ll be able to pick up thousands of tons of food, take it into a depot, sort it and then immediately get it out to hundreds of organisations where it will be given to people in need of a good meal.

“Here in Tower Hamlets – one of the most deprived boroughs in the country – we work with 90 organisations through out Poplar depot.”

The Santa Stair Climb is the flagship event in The Felix Project’s long-term partnership with Canary Wharf Group, which was announced earlier this year.

There are up to 1,000 place up for grabs with successful climbers rewarded with views across London from Canary Wharf’s tallest tower

“We started off by launching The Green Scheme, which means we’ve been able to go out to the retailers and hospitality businesses on the estate to collect food that would otherwise be wasted, from them,” said Tanya.

“An army of volunteers takes it from those businesses to community organisations to distribute five days a week.

“It’s a pivotal relationship for us because while we want to fight hunger in London, we also want to fight food waste and there is complete sympatico between us and Canary Wharf in its commitment to sustainability and its aim to reach net zero by 2030. We’re part of that solution.

“The Santa Stair Climb is a first for Felix and CWG – it’s exciting and exhilarating to be planning an event for 1,000 people and we want it to be a hero event for London.

“Originally, in the 1800s, Santa’s costume was green so we’re re-appropriating that for the event.

“I can’t wait to see 1,000 people all in green climbing those stairs and we really want to thank CWG and everyone involved for giving us this exclusive opportunity.

“The 48th floor isn’t normally open to the public, so this is a very special event. 

“The 1,000 slots will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and I’d also like to say a big thank you to everyone who is considering entering – it’s going to be a fabulous event, a really magical day.”

Those keen to take part can go to santastairclimb.com for more information or scan the QR code at the bottom of this page.

The Felix Project’s director of income generation and marketing, Tanya Mitchell

For those unable to participate, there are many other ways to get involved with The Felix Project, which last year delivered some 29million meals to those in need and is expecting to distribute 30million this year.

People working in Canary Wharf or those living locally can still volunteer for the Green Scheme.

Roles include drivers, co-drivers and walkers to collect food from businesses on the estate and deliver them to community organisations.

Volunteers are also needed at The Felix Project’s Poplar kitchen and warehouse to prepare ingredients, portion and package meals for onward delivery.

Tanya said: “Last year we had 8,500 people step up to the plate to help us in our efforts to defeat food waste and hunger in London.

“We are an organisation that’s powered by volunteers and we are so grateful to them because demand for our services is rising.

“We anticipate that we will rescue 13,000 tonnes of food this year, but the UK wastes 3million tonnes – only 7%-8% is currently rescued, so we can always do more.

“Just before the pandemic, The Felix Project was distributing around six million meals a year. Now it’s five times as many.

“The other change is that now key workers are accessing the community organisations we supply like food banks and community pantries. It’s a big problem. 

“Ultimately it is our mission not to exist and we are part of conversations with organisations that are working with the government to address the issues of food insecurity and poverty.”

Find out more about the Santa Stair Climb or sign up here

Read more: How Wharf Wellness is set to fill Canary Wharf with calm

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
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Canary Wharf: How Wharf Wellness will showcase offerings across the estate

Four-day wellbeing festival will feature taster sessions, offers and discounts in September 2023

Third Space will be hosting Yoga at Crossrail Place Roof Garden for Wharf Wellness

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We’ve had the blockbuster nights of Festival14 with the likes of Craig Charles and Soul II Soul rocking Canada Square Park.

There have been the tense dramatic screenings of the Lionesses’ triumphs and noble defeat in the World Cup Final.

There’s about to be the spectacle of Dancing City.

But just when you thought things might be settling down, another festival packed with activities arrives on the horizon.

There’s an air of serene calm about this one, however – an antidote, perhaps, to some of the summer’s frenetic buzz.

Wharf Wellness is set to take over the Canary Wharf estate from September 27-30, 2023, with a four-day programme of taster sessions and experiences as well as discounts and offers.

While the full roster of events is still being finalised, Canary Wharf Group has shared some early details so everyone can begin to get organised. 

Broadly speaking, Wharf Wellness can be divided relatively neatly in two.

The first is a programme of experiences run by local firms and organisations based on the estate, designed to showcase what they offer with taster workouts and workshops.

The second is a series of discounts and offers from lifestyle and hospitality businesses on the Wharf that will run throughout the festival’s four-day duration.

Canary Wharf Group retail marketing manager, Claire Slater, said: “It’s a celebration of health and wellbeing across the estate.

Wharf Wellness brings together the best in fitness, healthy eating and healthcare to reflect the diversity of what’s on offer in Canary Wharf, giving workers, visitors and local residents the opportunity to experience it.

“We decided to create it because of the breadth of what’s here, which we really want to shout about.

Canary Wharf Group retail marketing manager Claire Slater

“Ultimately, we want to give people a bit of ‘me time’ while they’re on the Wharf and also to promote our green spaces and waterways – to let people know how much there is here to get involved with and how they can do that.”

The full programme of events is still being finalised with more announcements expected in the coming weeks, but some of the estate’s biggest names are already involved including Third Space, Barry’s and Sweat By BXR.

“We hope there will be an element of surprise for some people participating,” said Claire.

“For example, Third Space will be hosting a Yoga session at Crossrail Place Roof Garden with a mocktail afterwards at Pergola On The Wharf.

“Some people have yet to discover that space, so having the classes up there will really add to the delight we hope people taking part will feel.

“Personally, I think it’s just a really lovely place to be.”

The majority of activities on offer will be free to attend with bookings set to open mid September. 

Access to all classes will be via the Canary Wharf app, which can be downloaded via this link for Android or Apple devices.

A series of discounts, offers and events will also be available exclusively via the app featuring the likes of Randox Health, Space NK, Farmer J, Atis, Pure, Le Chalet Cryo, Aesop and BlooBloom, details of which will be announced in due course.

Love Open Water will host a session suitable for beginners in Middle Dock

“With most sessions free, Wharf Wellness means you don’t need to have a gym membership to experience an amazing class from the brands taking part,” said Claire.

“There will also be open water swimming in Middle Dock with Love Open Water – a really inclusive session designed for beginners to explore in a safe space.

“We’re also very excited about Padium, the new padel tennis club, which is opening its doors at Bank Street at the end of the month.

“They will be offering a session to introduce people to the sport and the facility, which comes with a salad from Urban Greens too.”

Other attractions include plant-based summer roll making in a lunchtime session with a chef at recent Wood Wharf arrival Mallow and a makeup masterclass from Bobbi Brown.

“That’s part of our focus on self-care,” said Claire.

“It’s on the Friday evening, which is perfect for anyone who is set to go out afterwards.

“Then, alongside sessions from Barry’s and Union Square installation Mandala Lab on Saturday, we’re also working to provide something for families with a company called Wee Movers.

“They will be putting on a session of Yoga for kids and their parents at Crossrail Place Roof Garden.”

 With more still in the pipeline, Wharf Life will continue to update readers as new announcements are made, including the date when bookings will go live.

Until then, stay tuned to Canary Wharf’s website and app for updates.

Barry’s at Crossrail Place will be offering sessions in its Red Room studio

CHOOSE YOUR PATH – Wharf Wellness 2023

While the final programme is set to be released in September, we can reveal some dates and times to whet the wellness appetite and get pencils scribbling in diaries…

>> WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27

Yoga + Mocktails

5.45pm, Crossrail Roof Garden

Europe’s largest luxury health club, Third Space, will host a Yoga session amid the lush vegetation of the roof garden followed by a refreshing mocktail at nearby Pergola On The Wharf.

Sound Journey

6pm, Mandala Lab, Union Square

Head over to Wood Wharf and discover the Rubin Museum’s interactive installation for a sonic adventure inspired by the principles of Buddhism. Mandala Lab will also be hosting sessions on Sept 29 and 30, both at 6pm.

>> THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28

Dip + Sip

7.45am, Love Open Water, Middle Dock

Beginners are welcome at this morning open water swimming session at the heart of Canary Wharf. Afterwards, participants are invited for a smoothie or juice at Caravan.

The Red Room 

Time TBC, Barry’s, Crossrail Place

Try out a class in Barry’s iconic red room fitness studio, mixing cardio with resistance training to torch calories fast. Barry’s will also be hosting a session on Sept 30, time TBC.

Summer Roll Making

12.30pm, Mallow, Wood Wharf

Visit the plant-based restaurant for a 50-minute session with participants learning to make summer rolls for their lunch. A great way to discover what Mallow has to offer.

Sweat By BXR will be hosting a boxing class for Wharf Wellness

>> FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29

Boxing Class

8am, Sweat By BXR, Crossrail Place Roof Garden

Start the day with a serious, boxing-inspired workout amongst the greenery from this bespoke studio, then refuel with breakfast from Fresh Fitness Food.

Intro To Padel

2pm, Padium, Bank Street

Learn to play padel tennis at newly opened club Padium with this hour and a half-long session covering rules, scoring, techniques and strategies. Participants will also get a salad from nearby Urban Greens.

Makeup Masterclass

5.30pm, Bobbi Brown, Location TBC

Zeroing in on self care, this session is aimed at those looking for tips and techniques to perfect their look.

>> SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 30

Kids + Parents Yoga

2.30pm, Wee Movers, Crossrail Place Roof Garden

This hour-long session is aimed at family wellness, with kids and their parents invited for a child-friendly exploration of movement and wellbeing.

Read More: ow Jon Hala in Canary Wharf became a family business

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
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Canary Wharf: How Festival14 will take over the whole estate with five days of events

Theatre, comedy, dance, wellness and live music make up a packed programme over six venues

Festival14 is set to return to Canary Wharf from July 26-30,2023

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Where to even start with Festival14?

Having taken the decision to focus much of its summer arts and events programme into four days last year, Canary Wharf Group (CWG) has extended the 2023 iteration by a day, packing the calendar for July 26-30.

“We’ve really built on our programme from 2022,” said Camilla McGregor of CWG’s arts and events team.

“In addition to Winter Lights in January, Festival14 is an anchor event in our season.

“It’s trying to combine all the things that we do, like outdoor theatre, classical music concerts and dance so that people can come down and experience them on a single visit or over a few days.

“The amazing thing about the format is that everything is happening on the Canary Wharf estate within walking distance.

“Someone coming down might see some Shakespeare, take part in a workshop at the Fandangoe Discoteca then see a performance in Canada Square Park.

“Most of the festival is free because it’s important to make it accessible to the local community and as wide and audience as possible.

“We are charging for some events where there is limited space but the tickets are very reasonably priced.

“In planning the programme it’s also been important for us to create an inclusive festival with artists and acts from a diverse cross section of society in London.

“Whichever genre – theatre, comedy or music, for example – everyone should be represented.”

Buskers will be performing in Jubilee Park throughout the festival

With events and performances taking place from 11am or noon each day, there will be big name acts alongside less well-known attractions spread across six main venues.

“We’re incredibly excited to have Soul II Soul to headline Friday night in Canada Square Park because they are world famous and we’ve wanted to host them for a long time,” said Camilla. 

“On the comedy side we have performers like Mark Watson, Lou Sanders and Shaparak Khorsandi at The Monty Tent in Montgomery Square.

The Comedy Club will run in it for four nights with comedy for kids on the Sunday.

“Personally I’m looking forward to Big Fish, Little Fish Family Rave – a two-hour party designed for parents and kids to celebrate life with bubbles and balloons.

“Then on the main stage there are sets from Craig Charles and Norman Jay who are both household names and have been on the London circuit for years – they’re both amazing.

“Over the years our summer concerts have appealed to the community and we have a strong returning audience so for Festival14 we wanted to create a line-up suitable for our loyal fans and new audiences alike.

Westferry Circus will host a number of plays

“That’s why we have chosen jazz, soul and r’n’b.

“For example, we will have Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra  who are very well established and more contemporary sounds from Laura Misch, both on the Sunday.

“Canary Wharf has a long tradition of engaging with the local community too so we will have theatre programmed by The Space on the Isle Of Dogs and a performance from the Docklands Sinfonia in the mix too as well as artists who grew up in east London.

“There will be loads for kids and families to do too with the Crossrail Place Roof Garden the venue for many of these kinds of events.”

So, diaries out – the festival is only two weeks away but there’s still plenty of time to plan those must-sees.

Don’t forget the street food from Karnival in Montgomery Square, daily from noon, either. 

Click here for the full Festival14 programme

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
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Canary Wharf: How volunteering for the Green Scheme can help fight food poverty

Canary Wharf Group and The Felix Project launch long-term partnership to get food to those in need

Canary Wharf Group and The Felix Project have teamed up to battle food waste and feed those in need

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Volunteers needed…

That’s the simple message from Canary Wharf Group (CWG) as it officially launches a long-term partnership with The Felix Project – a charity that rescues surplus food and distributes it to vulnerable people through front line organisations, schools and community initiatives.

Together they have unveiled the Green Scheme – an ambitious project to provide more than 1,000 meals a week through around 10 local organisations, saving some 500kg of food that would otherwise have gone to waste. 

To achieve that, they are  looking to recruit as many as 1,500 people to ensure food is collected from retailers, restaurants and office kitchens on the Canary Wharf estate before transporting it to where it needs to go.

“What CWG is looking to achieve is really more than just having a positive impact in the buildings on the estate,” said Jane Hollinshead, managing director of people, culture and customer service at Canary Wharf Group. 

“It’s about how we fit into the wider ecosystem in terms of being a responsible business. 

“We’d had some conversations with The Felix Project about just doing some simple volunteering – that was really a corporate social responsibility thing.

“But this was at the time when the cost of living was really beginning to spiral out of control and there were huge issues around food waste, so I went over to see their warehouse in Poplar and it struck me what a natural partner Felix would be for all of the things that we. as an organisation. value.

Flash Back: How The Felix Project arrived in Poplar

“I thought that if we were to create something more strategic with them, then the reach we would get through their operations would be exponentially greater than if we were doing things on our own.

“From their side, our position as a landlord opens up opportunities for Felix because they are able to meet our customers, many of whom have surplus food at the end of the day – whether they are retailers or restaurants in offices. 

“It’s a really symbiotic partnership – we both bring things to further each other’s purposes.”

While CWG and Felix are still exploring the full extent of what may be possible through their collaboration, the Green Scheme is the immediate priority.

Retailers including M&S, Joe Blake’s and Waitrose have already signed up, with support also coming from the likes of Morgan Stanley and Barclays.

From left, Canary Wharf Group CEO Shobi Khan, The Felix Project CEO Charlotte Hill and CWG managing director of people, culture and customer service
>> “Our purpose is to bring people together to enhance lives now and in the future,” said Canary Wharf Group CEO, Shobi Khan. “Through partnerships like this, we aim to ensure Canary Wharf is more than just a place to live or work, but a place where you can be connected to the local community and can have a positive social impact.


“The business community at Canary Wharf has a big part to play in making The Felix Project a success and indeed some of our local companies are already on board, including Morgan Stanley and Barclays. 

“With such a concentration of retail and office businesses on the estate, a key part of our role as partner will be to introduce the charity to our wider community and bring the scale that’s needed to have a real, lasting effect on local people’s lives. 

“We have so many people who can play their part, whether they work, live or regularly visit here – I urge anyone willing to spare a couple of hours to sign up to volunteer and help us get surplus food to those who need it most.”

The partners are now keen to attract more businesses and, crucially, volunteers to drive the project forward.

“For the Green Scheme, we will act as the hub,” said Jane.

“That makes sense because we can keep the food fresh on the estate and then get it out faster than if it were sent to a warehouse first. 

“It’s also about bringing the individual volunteers out to the organisations that we and Felix are supporting.

“What happens is that the food is collected from the retailer or office restaurant by the volunteer who then delivers it. 

“We wanted that to be done in a sustainable way so it will be either on foot, by bike or via a dedicated electric van that we’ll charge up in our car parks.

“We are looking for anyone at all to volunteer for the Green Scheme – you might work or live in or near the Canary Wharf estate, or be a visitor.

“There are no boundaries when it comes to this kind of activity and we see it as a really good way to build relationships with the local community.

“We want as many people to help as possible – all volunteers have to do is to pass a health and safety induction and be able to carry a takeaway delivery service-style rucksack.”

CWG is clear. This latest initiative is very much looking beyond the borders of the estate in a bid to get as much of the community involved as possible.

Charlotte and Shobi load the dedicated electric van with surplus food
>> “In the UK, 4.7million people are struggling with the cost of food,” said Charlotte Hill, CEO of The Felix Project. “This is an issue we cannot afford to ignore and the situation is critical as the cost-of-living crisis intensifies. Many Londoners are trying to feed themselves on less than £3 a day.



“We’re thrilled to partner with Canary Wharf Group as they’re in the unique position to be able to convene the hundreds of businesses, retailers, employees and residents on the Estate to tackle this issue together, meaning we’ll have a much greater social impact than we would otherwise. 

“They have the access and logistics that we need to make the scheme a success at a time when the need is so high, and are committed to the same long-lasting, sustainable and meaningful change that we built our charity for.”  

“I think the benefit from the volunteers’ perspective is that they will be achieving something that’s meaningful,” said Jane. 

“That comes back to what I increasingly see from our own employees and customers. 

“When people come to their workplace, they want to feel they are doing something that really has value.

“When you have this huge cost of living crisis and you have in-work poverty – people who are relying on food banks even though they have jobs – then a partnership like this fulfils a purpose that is twofold. 

“Firstly, it’s reducing food waste, because there is so much that would otherwise be thrown away. 

“Secondly, because of the significant challenges the UK has faced over the last few years, food poverty is also coming through as an immediate crisis.

“The next generation particularly want to feel that they work for organisations that share their values. Part of that is having an impact in the community and a strategy for that.

“Here we are delivering something that works for our people and has benefits for CWG and our customers but also for the Felix Project and all the people and organisations it helps.”

While the Green Scheme itself is an ambitious project, Jane said it only represented the start of the collaboration between Felix and CWG – something that would grow in the months and years to come.

Volunteers will deliver food direct from Canary Wharf to the organisations supported by the Green Scheme

“We want to see how we can use the assets that we have as an organisation and explore how else we can help the charity,” she said.

“We’re looking at working with our office clients to see whether we can help them create a more diverse group of volunteers down at the Poplar depot.

“We’re talking to Morgan Stanley – which has a very effective volunteering strategy – about how that best practice can be shared.

“We’re also investigating how we can encourage people who are experts in their particular sector such as sustainability or professional services to volunteer their time to help the organisation.

“There’s a contribution of expertise, so it’s not just about the Green Scheme. It’s really about sharing knowledge and asking how we can involve our supply chain. 

“Can we make use of small businesses locally to help them deliver what they are doing, for example?

“The partnership is very much about setting out our stall to the outside world as an organisation – what our values are and what we stand for.”

Those interested in volunteering with the Green Scheme should sign up online to find out full details of the project.

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Canary Wharf: How Tony Brien captured the crowning of One Canada Square’s pyramid

Photographer was suspended from a crane to record the topping out of the estate’s iconic tower

A worker drapes the Union Jack over the freshly fixed pyramid – image Tony Brien

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Talk to Tony Brien about his career in photography and there’s always a sense of fun in his anecdotes.

Having begun his career as a photo journalist working on Fleet Street – covering football, rugby at Twickenham and cricket at Lords – a move to Northern Ireland during the Troubles was a stark contrast.

But even here he recalls the humour of the people of Belfast and the grand times enjoyed in nightclubs under hotels despite the violence and the regularity of being stopped on nights out by the army or paramilitary groups.

Returning to London, he set up a studio for an advertising agency before deciding a couple of years later to “take a bet on himself” and go freelance, starting his own business in a mews just off Oxford Street.

“I had a few clients who were using my services and the studio, which had a red filing cabinet and bits of cameras everywhere,” said Tony.

“Looking back, it was fantastic and it worked. I’ve never had a bad day in photography – if I have a big project, I’ll do anything to make it work.”

 It was that attitude that would set him on a trajectory to capturing the images featured on these pages – recently rediscovered during a clear out after more than 30 years.

Tony worked extensively for Olympia And York, the company founded by the Reichmann brothers, which undertook the development of Canary Wharf.

In the late 1980s, he captured many images of the scheme as construction progressed, working with the company until it collapsed in 1993. 

Workers await the arrival of the pyramid cap in November 1990 – image Tony Brien

“The people running the company were so generous of spirit – they really wanted it to work,” said Tony.

“I think it was Sherlock Holmes who said to Watson that you should always carry a pistol east of Aldgate and that still applied to a certain extent at the time.

“When I was commissioned, I walked all over the East End and went up various tower blocks to see whether I could get a view of the development as it was being built.

“In the end I said we needed to hire a helicopter if they wanted shots of Canary Wharf in relation to the City.

“That was £1,000 a day, which was a lot of money, but I hired a panoramic camera – the only one in the country at the time – and sat in the footwell with the doors off, headset on, which was the only way to do it at the time.

“The clients loved the shots and they were used for promotional booklets that were sent out everywhere.

“They caused quite a stir at the time because of the way they used the panoramic photography.

“Olympia And York had huge plates made up – they were really keen to take ownership of that format as their look.”

 The images on these pages were not, however, taken from a helicopter. In fact they almost never happened at all.

The tip of the pyramid comes into view – image Tony Brien

“Nowadays it can be done with drones,” said Tony.

“I’d been asked to capture the topping out of the tallest building in Europe – One Canada Square – telling the story of the regeneration and rebirth of Docklands and, in turn, London itself.

“It was early November 1990 and it wasn’t a great day, it was blustery and they usually stopped lifting anything at a wind speed of 34 knots. That day it was gusting up to 50.

“The only way to get the shots was for me to be lifted up 830ft in a small metal cage on a single chain by a crane.

“Originally the cage didn’t have any walls so they built a sort of tea chest in it to stop both me and my camera equipment falling out.

“So there I was in my ski suit, all ready, and we didn’t know whether it would happen.

“But the wind slowed considerably – the guys at the top radioed to say it was OK and we ought to take a punt at it. 

“So I got in, started sorting out my cameras and rose off the ground. About halfway up, the wind started gusting again but we decided to keep going and up we went. 

“After my little bucket had passed the half way mark, they started lifting the cap of the pyramid for the top of the building.

“The danger, of course, was that either that structure, or my crate would swing in the wind and hit the tower.

“So there I was, at the top, swaying around and waiting for the pyramid, which had three flags – from the UK, Canada and the USA – in celebration of those backing the project.

“I was committed. I’d said I would do it and I was right there, in position.

“I could see the workers on the building waiting for the pyramid and I had every camera possible there and loaded.

Tony in his makeshift crate at 830ft – image Tony Brien

“But the trouble with the panoramic cameras is you only get four shots so you’re a bit snookered.

“There I was, sitting in my box, changing film and looking up to see where we were. Then the wind really started blowing. 

“Well, you know when you’ve got the shot, and I thought I had, but I bent down to load some more film and felt the bucket drop a little. 

“I dropped into the foetal position, as though that was going to do anything.

“Then everything was OK, I stood up, got one more shot and then told the workers to get me out of there.

“Going down was fine and I jumped straight in the Range Rover and drove to central London to get to the processing house.

Back in Canary Wharf: Tony at One Canada Square – image Jon Massey

“Then, when the shots were done, I rang the client and said: ‘I think I got it’. Everyone was terribly excited.

“The flags had got knotted up and for that last shot I shouted over to the workers to pull the Union Jack out – they were very accommodating. 

“It was quite something to witness their bravery in those dangerous conditions as they guided the pyramid into place.

“Finding the film again was a really nice discovery.

“The people running Olympia And York were a real pleasure to deal with – it’s something I’ll never forget”

Tony continues to work as a photographer and his Canary Wharf images are currently being shown at Ad Lib Gallery in Wimbledon.

For all enquiries regarding the images featured on these pages, please email tony@tonybrien.co.uk or visit his website via this link

Tony’s blockbuster panoramic shot of the topping out – image Tony Brien

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
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Canary Wharf: How In2Sports provides facilities for the whole community

Charitable trust runs Wood Wharf venue, which includes a sports hall, gym and The Training Room

In2Sports director Callum Wear
In2Sports director Callum Wear

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Harbord Square has got a secret.

If you’ve walked through Wood Wharf, past the buildings to the east of its green oblong of grass, you may have spotted In2Sports’ red and blue logo in the brightly lit unit on corner of Brannan Street. 

But that space, with its orange chairs and Mars vending machine is merely the tip of an iceberg. It’s all about what lies beneath.

Walk through its glass doors, descend a level and you’ll find an expansive relaxation area, complete with a pool table, ping pong, a bar, bikes, seating, sports memorabilia and tables made from old vaulting horses.

It’s a charming enough space on its own, but this too is just an appetiser.

What In2Sports is really sitting on is a full-size, purpose built sports hall, complete with changing facilities, fitness studio space and even a crossfit-inspired gym.

Some of the facilities will be used part-time by the neighbouring primary school, when it opens, with the remainder of the timetable available for clubs, businesses and individuals looking for functional, affordable space.

The main sports hall at In2Sports in Wood Wharf
The main sports hall at In2Sports in Wood Wharf

“In2Sports is an indoor sports arena that caters for a wide variety of needs, with the ability to deliver a wide array of opportunities for people to be able to participate in sports and leisure activities at every level,” said Callum Wear, In2Sports trustee.

“It’s a place for anyone and everyone to have fun, play sports and then there’s the social side of it as well, which is a very important feature.

“Rather than just coming in, playing your sport and then leaving, players can relax and mingle with like-minded people, share their victories and talk about their next game strategies.

“It might be cricket, football, netball, volleyball, dodgeball or any smaller-sided counterparts to outside games that can be played indoors.

“We will always be evolving to accommodate new trends and demands.

“Our ambition is to become the home for anybody, any club or association that has a need to deliver sports and leisure activity programmes in this area.

“We don’t have an alliance with or allegiance to anyone, and we will work with a wide variety of people.

“Success for us is about participation – people walking out of the door and saying they’ve had a fantastic time.

“Having a fun place with an electric atmosphere is what we want.

In2Sports’ crossfit-style gym area

“That’s the name of the game. If you’re not having fun playing sport, you’re not going to achieve to the best of your ability. 

“When you’re here, you might be playing table tennis, but you might be playing with your football team or talking about the game or your next opponent – we want there to be constant activity around you.

“It’s a place that keeps people entertained and involved socially – sharing experiences with people is key.”

In2Sports is structured as a charitable trust and following a £9.99 registration fee, the sports hall can be hired for between £120 and £160 per hour depending on timing.

Quarter and half-court hire are also available and there’s a 40% discount for local residents with disabilities, those on benefits, who are senior citizens or who are full-time students. 

In celebration of its opening, In2Sports is currently offering all courts at off-peak prices.

Flexibility is central to the organisation’s model, with The Training Room perfectly summing that up.

“It’s certainly not just a bar and it’s a bit more than a clubhouse,” said Callum. 

“It could be the space where you could come for a small community workshop, for presentations, talks, speeches, birthday celebrations or just a place where people can relax after a game and have a drink with friends. 

“We’re a licensed venue, but you can also have health drinks as well, such as smoothies. It’s warm and welcoming.”

Callum knows a thing or two about welcoming Wharfers. Originally from New Zealand, he moved to the UK and, while working as an analyst on a financial project management system, met and became friends with accountant Chris Bennett.

The two discussed various ideas but both loved the idea of collaborating on a business related to sports and after about a year and a half of discussions created Play On Sports, launching in 2004.

Stretching to an eventual 50,000sq ft of space on the Wood Wharf site, it all began with a guaranteed 18 month lease.

In the end, Play On stayed until 2014, relocating its operations to Whitechapel when they had to make way for building works as Canary Wharf Group began the regeneration of the area.

The Training Room can serve many functions at the venue

“It’s great to be back in Canary Wharf – everyone has welcomed us back and people have been so supportive,” said Callum.

“I think Canary Wharf Group sees the benefit to the community that we bring and hopefully we’ll be contributing to the vibrant hub the estate has become.

“Now it’s full steam ahead – we have opened and it’s time to develop relationships with businesses and organisations around here and to tell the community that we’re here and we’re available for them to enjoy.

“This isn’t just a facility for corporates, it’s a place for anyone to use and play. 

“We’re ideally located, less than a 10-minute walk from the Jubilee and Elizabeth Line stations and there are good bus services along Preston’s Road too.”

In addition to The Training Room and the sports hall, In2Sports is also offering monthly memberships or access on a pay-as-you-go basis to its gym.

“It’s a crossfit-style training room, which is a really inclusive form of exercise,” said Callum.

“Everyone can engage with it because you’re only competing against yourself. 

“Then we also have our studio space which would be ideal for Yoga, Pilates and so on. 

“We’re also working with various charities so they can use it to achieve their goals and they’ll be utilising that space to get people up and active.

“We have a can-do, all inclusive approach to delivering sports. This is not your square-boxed sports hall, so if someone wants to host a sports activity, we will try to deliver it.

“This is very much a community project, the In2Sports charitable trust is for the benefit of everyone – corporates, social clubs and children.

“We like to work with organisations who are using sports to break down barriers, to give people that self-esteem, that self-confidence and to keep people playing sports on a sustainable basis so that they can have fun and feel better.”

One of the changing rooms at In2Sports

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Canary Wharf: How Canary Wharf Group’s Junior Board works to shape estate’s future

Initiative provides a forum for idea generation, communication across the business and mentoring

Canary Wharf Group's Junior Board
Canary Wharf Group’s Junior Board

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Canary Wharf has been in a constant state of evolution since it was created.

The mix of companies on the estate has changed with financial services and media giants joined by technology firms and an increasing number of organisations working in healthcare and life sciences.

It’s become a place to live too, with homes made available for both private sale and to rent at Wood Wharf and more residential expected at North Quay, Canary Wharf Group’s next major phase of development adjacent to its east London heartland.

Alongside these changes, the company that oversees the estate is also embracing the future, increasingly looking to younger staff to ensure it’s heading in the right direction.

Given the timescales involved in development, it makes sense to consult the people those future phases of regeneration are aimed at and to make certain the existing estate is on point to attract people of all ages.

To that end, Canary Wharf Group appointed a Junior Board in January to generate ideas, serve as a sounding board for the company’s leaders and help shape the future of the business.

Originally 13 – now 11 due to a couple of departures – for nearly eight months, it’s been doing just that, so I sat down with recently elected chair Julie Dang and board member Dan Pereira to find out more. 

Canary Wharf Group Junior Board chair Julie Dang

who are you, what do you do?

Julie: I work in the corporate social responsibility department as a programme coordinator and I’ve been in the company for about five years. I work to engage with our stakeholders, with young people and schools, to help them with their career aspirations and future employment.

We’ve run job fairs, insight days, where we invite people into the business and get our staff volunteers involved, to tell the young people what their jobs are, how they got to where they are now and what they actually do.

Dan: I work in the IT department as an infrastructure supervisor, helping look after Wi-fi, satellite, phones and TV across the estate, for the tenants in the buildings, the restaurants and the retailers. 

I used to be an electrician here working day and night shifts – a different world to 8am-5pm.

That means I can help people understand that you can come from that background to a role like this. My background benefits me because I can collaborate with people on the ground.

why apply for the junior board?

Dan: When I was working shifts, I kept coming up with all these ideas, but had no-one to share them with.

I’d see things in the malls, listen to people’s conversations and wonder what I could do with them.

That’s why I applied – I thought it would be good to have someone on it from a maintenance background. 

I didn’t tell a soul because I was scared what people might think of somebody in my position applying for something like that. It’s turned out pretty well.

Julie: I was the opposite, I wasn’t going to apply at all because I thought I wasn’t good enough, but I talked to one of my mentors who thought I was.

So I applied because my role is all about raising others’ confidence and trying to improve the lives of stakeholders and employees.

what are the board’s ambitions?

Julie: After many discussions, we decided to focus on three main areas – pay and progression, how to improve internal culture and collaboration in the business and how to change external perceptions of Canary Wharf and Canary Wharf Group, which is very important to us. 

Within those areas there are different projects, such as the introduction of ‘coffee roulette’ where two people working for the business meet for half an hour and get to know each other. 

Dan: I’ve been on a couple already with people from the legal and construction departments and it’s amazing – a chance to understand what people do in different areas of the business.

Julie: Building relationships is so important for an organisation and this aligns with one of the company’s values, which is cooperation.

I met someone from the residential sales team and went on a tour of One Park Drive in Wood Wharf, which I hadn’t seen before. Half an hour wasn’t enough so we’ve put another date in the diary.

Canary Wharf Group Junior Board member Dan Pereira
Canary Wharf Group Junior Board member Dan Pereira

what’s the benefit to the business?

Julie: I think the biggest thing is the culture change. Not a lot of companies have a junior board but it means that decisions are not just top-down.

The management board come and ask us if they’re doing things in the right way. 

It’s being taken seriously. We’re each paired with a member of the board and reverse-mentor them on a regular basis.

Dan: We rotate after six sessions, which means we get someone different and that means new opportunities to learn.

At the moment I meet the CEO – Shobi Khan – once a month. He’s kept every appointment and we discuss things that need improving and I give him my opinion.

We go on walks, which means everyone knows who I am now, and he gets a different understanding from me. 

I try to be completely honest – if he says something I don’t agree with I’ll say so and there are things I mention to him that he won’t have heard about before.

For example, I took him down to my old mess room underground and he’s looking at relocating those facilities so managers and engineers can work more easily together.

That’s given me a sense of confidence that I can talk to anybody. Being able to spend an hour with the CEO and feel comfortable puts you in a good position.

Before joining the board I hardly spoke to anybody and kept myself to myself.

Julie: For me it’s been a chance to learn about other areas of the company, understand the issues they face and what could be done differently.

I’m paired with Alastair Mullens who is head of Canary Wharf’s build-to-rent business Vertus and he’s a  very inspiring person.

how do you want to change the perception of Canary Wharf?

Dan: We want to make sure people know it’s available for everybody, not just those in suits.

We want families and tourists to visit, for it to be seen as a great place to come, with so much to do. You don’t have to spend money here – you can come here with nothing and still have a great day out. 

There are parks and great views.My favourite thing is to watch the sunset at Canary Riverside. I take my camera and it’s great.

We want people to feel they’re welcome. I recently spoke to some school kids, and I asked them if they could see themselves working at Canary Wharf, and they said they would need a degree – but I was able to tell them that’s not true, it’s not the route I took.

Julie: We want to emphasise that there are lots of arts and events here that are free. We’ve got the largest public art collection in the UK.

One of my favourite places is Crossrail Place Roof Garden, which is really cool in the summer – you can relax and enjoy the scenery.

As members of the Junior Board we can contribute to how this place develops.

For me, there are two areas we should focus on – ensuring Canary Wharf is inclusive, that there are people working here and visiting from different backgrounds and I think we are already well on our way there.

I also want to see more competitive socialising in the retail element of the estate.

Dan: I think Canary Wharf Group needs to keep doing what it’s doing at the moment – adding more things to make the estate better.

We have lots of open green spaces and now there’s the option to go open water swimming in Middle Dock too.

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
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