The original Canal Terrace comprised of 431 to 523 Harrow Road and occupied the entire stretch of land from the pedestrian bridge at Kensal Wharf to the edge of The Flora Hotel and public house. The routes of the Grand Union Canal and Harrow Road run parallel to each other in close proximity through this section and their respective shapes have described a thin undulating ribbon of land. The orientation from Canal Terrace across the canal is due south.
The plan form of the units that comprise Canal Terrace follows this organic shape as it widens and narrows. The lines of the party walls show how the individual units vary in rhythm to make the best use of the available footprint. Typically, narrow deep units exist at the eastern end that gradually evolve into wide shallow units as the terrace progresses westwards. This peculiar site condition has resulted in a composition of buildings that is unusually dynamic when compared to the grid-like order that makes up the rest of the Queen’s Park Estate.
The western end of Canal Terrace was demolished (along with the buildings on the opposite side of Harrow Road) as part of a spate of 1970s redevelopment. A narrow linear park known as Harrow Road Open Space was created in place of the terrace with social housing opposite.
The extent of Canal Terrace currently consists of 29 units comprising 431 to 487 Harrow Road. Most of the retail units along the ground floor have had their shopfronts boarded up and converted to either office or residential use. This has had the detrimental effect of creating a more closed off and hostile street scene. The pace along Harrow Road changes from being a lively shopping district to a bleak speedway as traffic accelerates past the Canal Terrace. These changes have taken place without local authority consent but there is little motivation from the council to enforce this.
In addition to a number of fast food outlets a restaurant occupies the first unit at 431 Harrow Road. The unique aspect about this property is that it was allowed to construct a pontoon out onto the canal which is presently used as outdoor seating. This is poorly maintained and changes of ownership take place frequently.
The upper floors of Canal Terrace are all in residential use, with some units having converted the loft spaces. The dominant feature at first floor level is a broad terrace facing the canal. The southerly orientation of this amenity gives it great potential in terms of both outlook onto the canal and sun. A few units have infilled the terrace with rickety structures.
Harrow Road Open Space
The demolished section of Canal Terrace was turned into a small park known as Harrow Road Open Space. A number of mature trees have by now taken hold in this park and its main orientation is towards the canal. The park is rarely used.
Click to pan across the whole terrace