Until the 1960s there was no road transport to the village and it was only accessible by boat. Since the construction of the West Coast Road it is a stop on the road between Castries and Soufriere.
The name Kanawe is derived from the Amerindian word for cooking pots, in the past Canaries had a large sugar plantation that ran inland up the valley that stretches in an easterly direction from the village. Records show that Canaries has existed since 1763 and the original settlers came from the neighbouring island of Martinique.
In 1876 a Catholic School was established and after 1929 there was an infant school and a junior school in the village.
When the price of sugar dropped in the middle of the 20th Century, the estate closed