Building Magazine


Toronto’s 16th annual CANstruction aims to fill the hunger gap

Visitors to Toronto’s financial district may be wondering why there’s a giant fish made out of tuna cans around the corner from a fortune cookie made out of canned tuna in the lobby of the TD Center. They’re just two of twenty structures on display this week, as teams of professional designers, architects, engineers and students took part in Toronto’s 16th Annual Canstruction Competition.

In all 71,035 pounds of donated food were sculpted into audacious, edible statues all in an effort to fill Toronto’s hunger gap.

“Canstruction is a unique type of food drive and a way for the design community to collaborate in a creative way and give back to the community we build in,” says Helen Kabriel, co-chair of Canstruction Toronto. “Not only do they give back through food donations, but their structures attract an audience and provoke discussions on hunger and the challenges facing our city.”

The ‘Canstructures’ are on display for public viewing in the lobbies of the TD Bank, TD West, TD North and Ernst & Young, towers at 66 Wellington Street West until May 9th, before being disassembled and donated to Daily Bread Food Bank, the city’s largest food bank.

“The impact of Canstruction is enormous. It provides thousands and thousands of pounds of high quality and nutritious food at a time of year when donations typically fall off,” says Gail Nyberg, executive director of Daily Bread Food Bank.

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

For the second year, Canstruction Toronto will also have a “People’s Choice Award”, encouraging those passing through the TD Towers and others on-line to vote by ‘liking’ a picture of their favourite ‘Canstructure’ on Facebook through the Canstruction Toronto page. The contest closes on May 10 and can be found at

Canstruction Toronto 2015 winning ‘CANstructures’:

Jurors Favourite:

BA Consulting Group Ltd.  

Structural Ingenuity:

Turner Fleischer Architects Inc.
Hunger is No Illusion

Best Meal:

Stephenson Engineering Ltd.

CAN You Help Bridge The Gap?

Best Use of Labels:


Hunger for Sport

Honourable Mention:

Quadrangle Architects Ltd.

Shifting Perspective 
Since the event started in Toronto in 1999, Canstruction® has donated more than 860,000 pounds of food to the Daily Bread Food Bank.

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 is incredibly important, especially at this time of year, when people may not be thinking about the food bank as much. It helps us to keep our hampers full and nutritious throughout the warm months,” says Nyberg. “The real winners of Canstruction are the 60,000 people who will use our food banks each and every month.”

2015 Canstruction Toronto

List of Participants:

  •   Aecom Canada Ltd
  •   Aercoustics Engineering Limited
  •   AFHTO
  •   Arup Canada Inc.
  •   BA Consulting Group Ltd.
  •   Cannon Design
  •   DIALOG
  •   Diamond Schmitt Architects with Read Jones   Christoffersen Ltd.
  •   GM BluePlan Engineering Ltd.
  •   HDR
  •   Echologics, A Division of Mueller Co.
  •   GHD
  •   PCL Constructors Canada Inc. with   Entuitive
  •   Petroff Partnership Architects / ARK
  •   Quadrangle Architects Ltd.
  •   rebanks pepper littlewood architects inc.
  •   R.V. Anderson Associates Ltd.
  •   Ryerson University, Department of Architectural   Science
  •   Stephenson Engineering Ltd.
  •   Turner   Fleischer Architects Inc.


David Bowick: Principal at Blackwell Engineering

Diarmuid Nash: Partner at Moriyama & Teshima Architects

Diego Burdi: Creative Director at burdifilek

Elsa Lam: Editor of Canadian Architect magazine

Susur Lee: Chef and Owner of Lee, Bent & Luckee

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