Canals are man-made channels for water. There are two types of canal:#Waterways: navigable transportation canals used for carrying ships and boats shipping goods and conveying people, further subdivided into two kinds:...
across an area just north of central London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...
. It provides a link from the Paddington
Paddington is a district within the City of Westminster, in central London, England. Formerly a metropolitan borough, it was integrated with Westminster and Greater London in 1965...
arm of the Grand Union Canal
Grand Union Canal
The Grand Union Canal in England is part of the British canal system. Its main line connects London and Birmingham, stretching for 137 miles with 166 locks...
, just north-west of Paddington Basin
Paddington Basin is an area of Paddington, London named after the nearby canal basin.The junction of the Regent's Canal and the Grand Junction Canal is close to this point but the basin itself is the terminus of the Paddington Arm of the Grand Junction Canal. It was opened in 1801...
in the west, to the Limehouse Basin
The Limehouse Basin in Limehouse, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets provides a navigable link between the Regent's Canal and the River Thames, through the Limehouse Basin Lock. A basin in the north of Mile End, near Victoria Park connects with the Hertford Union Canal leading to the River Lee...
and the River Thames in east London.
First proposed by Thomas Homer in 1802 as a link from the Paddington arm of the then Grand Junction Canal
Grand Junction Canal
The Grand Junction Canal is a canal in England from Braunston in Northamptonshire to the River Thames at Brentford, with a number of branches. The mainline was built between 1793 and 1805, to improve the route from the Midlands to London, by-passing the upper reaches of the River Thames near Oxford...
(opened in 1801) with the River Thames at Limehouse
Limehouse is a place in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It is on the northern bank of the River Thames opposite Rotherhithe and between Ratcliff to the west and Millwall to the east....
, the Regent's Canal was built during the early 19th century after an Act of Parliament was passed in 1812.