This artificial canal was built in 1769 to improve the navigation of the river Lea. It runs from the Lea Bridge in Hackney to Old Ford near Bow, a distance of 3.2 km. Over the years the canal was widened to allow bigger barges through, some of which were used as warehouses. There are still a few factories dotted around the canal, but they are mostly used as studio spaces. The Channel 4 show The Big Breakfast was filmed in the lock houses around Old Ford; more recently the Hackney Cut has attracted attention thanks to the creation nearby of the Olympic Park.