Building Magazine


50,000 cans of food used in ‘Canstructures’

 On June 3rd, teams of professional designers, architects, engineers and students took part in Toronto’s 14th Annual Canstruction Competition, donating their time, talent and 50,000 cans of canned food to build clever and edible structures, all destined to aid Toronto’s food banks.

“One of the most unique food drives in the world, Canstruction is a fun, visual way for the architecture and engineering industry to pull together and give back to the communities they build in,” says Helen Kabriel, co-chair of Canstruction Toronto. “It’s also a creative way to raise public awareness about the challenges of hunger in the city.”

Built with 52,200 pounds of canned goods, a collection of oversized ‘canstructures’ are on display for public viewing in the lobbies of the TD Bank, Ernst & Young, Royal Trust, and Canadian Pacific towers at 77 King Street West until June 8th, before being disassembled and donated to Daily Bread Food Bank, the city’s largest food bank.

The Canstruction competition recognizes a variety of factors, not just design aesthetics. For example, the ‘Best Use of Labels’ award focuses on creative graphic possibilities, “Best Meal” award considers the variety and quality of the fare, and “Structural Ingenuity” considers the complexity of the design.

For the first time, Canstruction Toronto has moved from the fall to late spring. While the lead-up to Christmas is typically a high-donation time for food banks, as the weather gets nicer, the contributions decline. Canstruction Toronto is helping fill that gap.

Canstruction Toronto 2013 winning ‘canstructures’:

Jurors Favourite:

Turner Fleischer Architects Inc. for “TWO CANS” are better than one in the Ernst & Young Tower

Structural Ingenuity:

BA Consulting Group for Hungry Humpty in the Canadian Pacific Tower

Best Meal:

GHD for The Seasons Change, but the Need Remains in the Canadian Pacific Tower

Best Use of Labels:

Hatch Mott MacDonald for CARE-ousel of Hope in the Ernst & Young Tower

Honourable Mentions:

exp Services Inc. for Hunger is no Game! in the TD Bank Tower


AECOM for CAN See No Hunger in the Ernst & Young Tower


1.  Edward Keenan: Senior editor at The Grid magazine

2.  Mani Mani: Founder of Fishtnk Design Factory

3.  Adrian Niman: Founder and executive chef of The Food Dudes

4.  Barry Steinberg: Chief Executive Officer of Consulting Engineers of    Ontario

5.  Eb Zeidler: Senior partner emeritus at Zeidler Partnership Architects

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