Living in Canada Water

canada water

A historic part of London’s docklands is set to be transformed with a major new phase of redevelopment. Find out what Living in Canada Water is like with our guide to the area.

History of the area

This part of Rotherhithe was home to the Surrey Commercial Docks for nearly 300 years. The individual docks take their names from parts of the world where ships sailed from – Greenland, Russia and Canada being where trade was heaviest. Ships from Canada unloaded timber here for over 150 years. The men who carried the wood on their shoulders from the ships to the warehouses were known as ‘deal porters’ – hence the name for the main square in Canada Water today. When the docks closed in the 1960s some were filled in for housing, but those that remained form the unique character of this area. Residential developments have built up around Canada Water, Surrey Quays and Greenland Dock, and there is a peaceful aspect to the area, with its wetlands, woods and waterside housing, that makes it appealing for people looking for somewhere in London a little different from the norm.

Canada Water is about to embrace another new chapter in its history as the area is set to be transformed as a result of a £2 billion redevelopment covering 53 acres. As well as thousands of new homes, there will be new retail, leisure, entertainment and community spaces, a new leisure centre and public park.

The property market

This whole area will see huge redevelopment with the Canada Water Masterplan set to build London’s first new town centre in 50 years in and around Surrey Quays. The developers plan to build 3,000 new net zero homes over the next 10 years on the site encompassing the Surrey Quays shopping centre, Leisure Park and Printworks, with 35% being designated affordable.

New build homes

Phase 1 of the project is set to be complete by late 2024. Prices start from just over £700,000 for a studio to over £2million for a 3-bed apartment in the development overlooking the Thames and surrounded by 160 acres of park and woodland.

First time buyers

Canada Water is very appealing to young professionals, so there is always lots of competition for people looking to buy for the first time, especially as so much regeneration is happening in the area. Those on lower budgets can find shared ownership schemes available in the Vista development near the Russia Dock Woodland. 79 new affordable homes have recently been completed as part of the Canada Water Masterplan.

Renting in the area

The rental market is strong in Canada Water but average rents are lower than neighbouring Wapping and Canary Wharf. Rooms in shared houses are around £1,200-1,400 pcm; 2-bedroomed flats are usually in the range £2000-£3000 pcm; 2-bed terraced houses £2,000 pcm.

Schools and education

Though it is only a small area, Canada Water and Rotherhithe has a number of well regarded schools. St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School on Gomm Road and Albion Primary on Albion Street are rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. Bacon’s College is a Church of England secondary school on Timber Pond Road rated ‘good’. King’s College London has residential accommodation on Mulberry Walk, ideal for students travelling to the Denmark Hill or Guy’s campuses.

Transport links

The opening of Canada Water station on the Jubilee Line in 1999 was another huge moment for this area. It is just one stop from Canary Wharf and two from London Bridge. Canada Water is also on the East London Line with quick connections to Wapping, Shadwell and Whitechapel. It’s also on the Overground with 10-minute journeys to Shoreditch High Street, convenient for Liverpool Street and the City. Thames Clipper riverboats run to Canary Wharf and the City from Greenland Surrey Quays Pier.

Lifestyle and leisure

Places to eat

Bar and kitchen Leadbelly’s on Deal Porter Square is the main eaterie in the area, serving light bites and mains all day. No visitor to this part of south east London can really leave without popping in to The Mayflower pub in Rotherhithe Village. The ship that took the Pilgrim Fathers to America left Rotherhithe in 1620, and this pub, opened in the 16th century, was renamed in its honour. It serves hearty pub grub, and is as characterful as they come, with a covered terrace and first floor affording views across the river. Pacific Tavern on Redriff Road is a newly opened dog-friendly gastropub and restaurant, sure to be a hit during the summer months with its long wooden benches and outdoor seating area.

Local nightlife

Dedicated party-lovers may want to head for Wapping or Bermondsey, but there are enough pubs and bars around Surrey Quays to keep people entertained. The Moby Dick on Greenland Dock is a huge pub on the dockside and a great place to meet up with friends after work. There is a multi-screen Odeon and bowling alley opposite the shopping centre. Rotherhithe has a number of welcoming pubs apart from The Mayflower, including The Ship, The Brunel and The Salt Quay.

Things to do

Much will change with the Canada Water development, but for now the Surrey Quays Shopping Centre remains, where you’ll find high street names like Boots, Next and Clarks. The flagship Decathlon store on Maritime Street is always worth a browse. The Library is quite a feat of modern architecture, a Brutalist hexagon with a floor area that is substantially larger than its footprint on Deal Porter Square. There is also a café and small theatre space inside the library. Just a short walk from the Mayflower pub in Rotherhithe is the Brunel Museum, housed in the extraordinary entrance buildings of the Thames Tunnel, the world’s first undersea tunnel opened in 1843.

Felicity J Lord can help you buy, sell or rent in Canada Water

If you like what you hear about living in Canada Water, we can help you buy, sell or rent in the Canada Water area. Get in touch with the friendly team at our Canada Water branch and they will be happy to help.