Diamond Schmitt Architects, Architecture49 Inc. among 21st CANstruction winners

CANstruction Toronto build took place on May 15 and the completed “Canstructures” were judged by a jury and winners were announced at an evening reception on May 16.

CANstruction Toronto is one of the largest private donors to the Daily Bread Food Bank through an annual contest that challenges architectural and engineering firms to create structures using full cans of food which will be donated to the food bank. This was the first year of the event since it was put on hold in 2020 due to the pandemic. Construction Specifications Canada (CSC) was one of the silver sponsors of the event.

The shelves at Toronto’s Daily Bread Food Bank will soon be restocked due to the thousands collected in the 21st CANstruction build. Altogether, 26,093 kg (57,527 lb) of donated non-perishable food were sculpted into 19 audacious, edible statues to close up Toronto’s hunger gap.

The donations come as local food banks struggle to keep up with unprecedented demand from a record number of Canadians needing help in the face of rising prices.

Over the last 20 years, the architecture, engineering, construction, and design industry in Toronto has raised more than one million pounds of food donations through this annual competition.

The CANstruction competition recognizes a variety of factors, not just design esthetics. 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 the “structural ingenuity” award considers the complexity of the design.

CANstruction Toronto also has a “people’s choice” award, encouraging those passing through the TD Towers and others online to vote by liking a picture of their favourite sculpture on CANstruction Toronto’s Instagram.

“Creativity, innovation, and corporate social responsibility come together at CANstruction,” says Neil Hetherington, CEO, Daily Bread Food Bank. “Through this incredible initiative, teams involved are not only helping to provide much needed food donations for families facing hunger, but also raising awareness about food insecurity, and having a direct impact in our community.”

Pre-pandemic, Daily Bread Food Bank saw about 65,000 client visits each month. That number has now quadrupled, with a record high of nearly 270,000 client visits in March 2023.

CANstruction Toronto’s winning “Canstructures” for 2023:

Best original design
Architecture49 Inc.
Get Crackin!

Structural ingenuity
Architecture49 Inc.
Get Crackin!

Best use of labels
KPMB Architects
Nature vs. Nurture

Best meal
Diamond Schmitt Architects
Be Kind and Feed your Neighbours

Honourable mention
BDP Quadrangle
Healthy Meal

CANstruction Toronto 2023 participants and their design descriptions

Adamson Associates Architects
Tower of Sauron
Combining architectural finesse and creative prowess, our team’s Canstruction design depicts the awe-inspiring Tower of Sauron from the legendary realm of Middle earth, captivating the essence of Lord of the Rings in an awe-inspiring tribute.

Our bunny cares about hunger
Our bunny cares about hunger and is the perfect advocate to eliminate food insecurity for all.

Architecture49 Inc.
Get Crackin!
The skyrocketing price of eggs in recent months is just one reason why feeding a family nutritious food has become egg-ceptionally difficult, but with a bit of collaboration, creativity, and egg-stra generosity, we can help those in need—so let’s get cracking.

BDP Quadrangle
Healthy Meal
Many Canadians rely on takeout and fast food as an easy and convenient food source, while the cost and health benefits of this do not always look quite like a Happy Meal.

Candevcon East Limited
Home is Where the Heart is
Our home welcomes you to open your hearts and give generously to your community.

Canadian Turner Construction Company
Seize the opporTUNAty to feed the hungry
Seize the opporTUNAty to feed the hungry, and be that glimmer of hope in the community.

Diamond Schmitt Architects
Be Kind and Feed your Neighbours
The raccoon sculpture encourages Torontonians to keep an open mind to all our neighbours and be kind to one another, especially in times of need.

Trashed Treasure
Trashed Treasure sculpture serves as a powerful visual representation of the issue of food waste across the country, highlighting both the magnitude of the problem and the regional variations in food insecurity.

Grounded Engineering Inc.
Next Stop… Donation Station
More than 6,000 cans stacked to form the newest iteration of the iconic TTC streetcar, reminding us that after a long day, food insecurity should not be on anyone’s mind.

Graham Construction and Zeidler Architecture
Azadi (Liberty) Tower
Rise upwards towards a better and stronger future, without injustice and hunger.

HOK & WSP Canada Inc.
Beyond the Event Horizon
Inspired by one of the Universe’s great mysteries, the black hole, cans of food swirl around the event horizon as a nod to the issue of food availability which appears endless for some, but is an illusion to others.

KPMB Architects
Nature vs. Nurture
A visual representation of nature reclaiming its dominance over human interference.

LEA Consulting Ltd. + CS&P Architects
It’s a-me, CANrio!
CANrio! represents a world where nutritious food is always readily available so anyone can power up like Mario and unlock their full potential.

Food for Thought
Our structure aims to provoke the thought of fighting hunger and helping those who are less fortunate in filling their tummies with much needed comfort and ease.

We are worried about the loss of Ontario’s farmland and its effects on our food security; our futuristic, all-purpose, farming vehicle stands as an optimistic vision of an ethically produced and sustainable local agricultural future.

RJC Engineers
CAN you SEA the big picture? Let’s take a bite out of hunger!
When we share our wealth with each other, as our ocean’s coral reefs, we can take a bite out of hunger and thrive together. This structure, by RJC Engineers Ltd, consists of close to 3,000 cans of various food products depicting a coral reef complete with a shark, starfish and even a treasure chest.

TPL Lighting + Design Agency
Made in CANada
A fully formed mitten, craftly made with intertwining stitches that serve the purpose of warming hands; this is a representation of our intertwining efforts to assemble a selection of cans to donate a full encompassing meal to fill bellies and warm heart.

Turner Fleischer Architects Inc.
One Can
One can ignite change.

WZMH Architects
Layers of Emotions
Reaching through our inescapable visual overconsumption, sharing food brings layers of emotions to our lives, creates community and social connection, and draws us all in.

CANstruction Toronto 2023 Jury

  • Sebastien Centner—Founder and creative director, Eatertainment
  • Brooke Guzar—CEO, Blackwell Structural Engineers
  • Elsa Lam—Editor, Canadian Architect Magazine
  • Ajon Moriyama—Principal, Ajon Moriyama Architect
  • Pascal Paquette—Visual and experiential artist

CANstruction Toronto 2023 sponsors:

Gold sponsors
Smith + Andersen Consulting Engineers; Carpenters Union Local 27; Elevate; Design Exchange; and Calador Communications

Silver sponsors
Ontario Association of Architects (OAA); Construction Specifications Canada (CSC); DRE Industries; Association of Consulting Engineering Companies (Ontario Chapter); and Canadian Association of Women in Construction (CAWIC).

Bronze sponsors
Speciifx, and Brampton Brick

Cadillac Fairview

Astley-Gilbert Reproductions, printing; Aaron Borchardt, photographer.

Organized by
SDA Canada


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