The gleaming new towers of Canning Town in east London look down on a working-class suburb of small terrace houses interspersed with post-war estates and the high-rise blocks that replaced streets wiped out in the Blitz.
Plans by the local council to regenerate Canning Town and nearby Custom House will cost £3.7 billion and deliver 10,000 new homes, two improved town centres and two new streets, to bring coherence to an area currently bisected by noisy arterial roads and ugly flyovers.
THE LOWDOWN: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CANNING TOWN
Living in Canning Town: everything you need to know
Living in Canning Town: everything you need to know
1/13 The lowdown: Canning Town
Only seven miles from central London, Canning Town is known for the tower blocks that replaced streets wiped out in the Blitz; now a £3.7 billion regeneration is planned that promises to deliver 10,000 new homes and two town centres.
Images: Daniel Lynch
2/13 Average house prices in Canning Town
One-bedroom flat: £361,000
Two-bedroom flat: £529,000
Two-bedroom house: £609,000
Three-bedroom house: £795,000
Four-bedroom house: £1.15 million
3/13 Average rental prices in Canning Town
One-bedroom flat: £1,578 a month
Two-bedroom flat: £2,204 a month
Two-bedroom house: £2,284 a month
Three-bedroom house: £2,935 a month
Four-bedroom house: £4,272 a month
Canning Town’s primary schools get good results at KS2 with the following judged to be “outstanding”: Hallsville, St Helen’s RC, St Joachim’s RC and Britannia Village. The comprehensive schools do not do so well at GCSE, but three are judged to be "good". A new free school, Oasis Academy Silvertown, opened in September. See our full list here.
The biggest retail excitement in Canning Town itself is the recent arrival of a branch of the East End bakery Percy Ingle, and the area's long-standing Rathbone Market is re-establishing itself in a new public square. BJ's, a traditional pie & mash shop, and Lukes, an old-fashioned tailor’s shop, are on Barking Road.
Canning Town is on the Jubilee line with trains to Canary Wharf and the West End and the DLR with trains to the City. Crossrail's arrival at Custom House will cut the journey time to Canary Wharf to three minutes and to Bond Street to 17 minutes. All stations are in Zone 3 and an annual travelcard to Zone 1 costs £1,508.
There are restaurants in and around the square in front of the ExCeL exhibition centre and overlooking the Royal Victoria Dock near the cable car station. Fatboy’s Diner at Trinity Buoy Wharf is a popular spot.
8/13 Leisure and the arts
The Crystal on Royal Victoria Dock is home to the world's largest exhibition focused on urban sustainability. The nearest cinema is the 11-screen Cineworld multiplex at The O2 on the Greenwich Peninsula, reached via cable car. There are two local council-owned swimming pools: the Newham Leisure Centre and the Balaam Leisure Centre.
9/13 Open space
The Canning Town Recreation Ground has a cycle speedway and Outdoors in the City offers a climbing wall, abseiling, archery and bushcraft. In summer there is a beach at the western end of Royal Victoria Dock and Thames Barrier Park in Silvertown is an award-winning park overlooking the Thames Barrier.
10/13 For sale...
£319,000: minutes from Canning Town Underground station, this third-floor one-bedroom apartment in Hallsville Quarter is due to be completed in autumn 2016.
11/13 For sale...
£584,999: this ground-floor three-bedroom flat has two private terraces, in a sought-after location near Royal Victoria Station.
12/13 For sale...
£1,095,000: this sky-high two-bedroom flat is on the 17th and 18th floors, offering 24-hour concierge and views across the Docks.
13/13 For sale...
£1,850,000: opposite the Royal Victoria Station (DLR), this three-bedroom penthouse apartment spans two floors, with city views and off-street parking.
The bright red residential Vermilion Tower has become a landmark. Below it, long-standing Rathbone Market is re-establishing itself in a new public square. On the other side of the A13, a town centre is being created at Hallsville Quarter with the first phase of 179 flats and a new Morrisons supermarket opening later this year.
At Custom House next to the Docklands Light Railway station, a giant gantry is evidence of the construction of the new Crossrail station, at the point where trains will plunge below ground on their way to Paddington.
Canning Town is named after the Victorian governor-general of India, Lord Canning, who in the four years following the opening of the area’s Royal Victoria Dock in 1855, managed to suppress the Indian Mutiny and nationalise the assets of the East India Company.
Leisure and the arts
The Crystal at Royal Victoria Dock is a visitor attraction run by Siemens that demonstrates sustainability. The nearest cinema is the 11-screen Cineworld multiplex at the O2 on the Greenwich Peninsula, reached via cable car. The two local council-owned swimming pools, both with 25-metre and teaching pools, are at Newham Leisure Centre in Prince Regent Lane and Balaam Leisure Centre in Balaam Street.
Shops and restaurants
The biggest retail excitement in Canning Town itself is the recent arrival of a branch of the East End bakery Percy Ingle. Apart from this new bakery and Rathbone Market, the high street along Barking Road has little to offer beyond a few Russian stores, some Asian shops with good fruit and vegetables, BJ’s traditional pie & mash shop, and a wonderful old-fashioned tailors shop, Lukes.
There are local shops on Freemasons Road close to Custom House DLR station and there are restaurants in and around the square in front of the ExCeL exhibition centre and overlooking Royal Victoria Dock near the cable car station.
Canning Town Recreation Ground in Prince Regent Lane has a cycle speedway and an Outdoors in the City facility with a climbing wall, abseiling, archery and bushcraft. There is a small adjoining wood, Ashburton Wood, created following the demolition of a school in 1984.
The Canning Town Caravanserai, an outdoor community space in Silvertown Way, is the scene of markets and community events, and has a food-growing space.
In summer there is a beach at the western end of Royal Victoria Dock overlooking WakeUp Docklands, a wakeboarding centre next to The Oiler Bar. The bar, open on Friday and Saturday evenings, is housed in a former Royal Navy refuelling barge.
Thames Barrier Park in Silvertown is an award-winning park overlooking the Thames Barrier. It is famed for its green dock, which features undulating hedges echoing the waves on the river.
Council: Newham council is Labour controlled and Band D council tax for the new financial year is £1,240.63.
Three things about Canning Town
Who told Mick Jagger to stop dancing?
The Bridge House was a famous music venue in Canning Town that ran from 1975 to 1982. The landlord Terence Murphy wrote about his life organising gigs involving an eclectic mix of musicians including Iron Maiden, the Tom Robinson Band, Dire Straits and U2. In 1980, Mick Jagger came with fellow Rolling Stone Keith Richards to watch their drummer Charlie Watts play with Ian Stewart and Alexis Korner in the band Rocket 88. Jagger had to be told to stop dancing as the pub only had a licence for dancing on stage.
How did Hermit Road in Canning Town make footballing history?
It was where the team that eventually became West Ham United played their first two games. The team has its origins in an amateur club formed by the owner of the Thames Ironworks at the mouth of the River Lea. The club was known as the Thames Ironworks Football Club. It played its first game on September 7, 1895 against Royal Ordnance Factories Football Club and drew 1-1. It was reformed as West Ham United in 1900.
Where was a wartime tragedy covered up for 70 years?
On September 10, 1940 Hallsville School took a direct hit from a German bomber. Many Canning Town residents were sheltering in the basement. The government claimed 77 people died, but for years locals claimed the figure was nearer 600. Papers released from the National Archives in 2010 proved the residents were right and there had been a cover-up. A new school was built on the site in 1948 and there is a plaque in the playground commemorating the tragedy.
Photographs by Daniel Lynch