Winners of the 16th annual Canstruction Toronto competition announced

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 Centre. They’re just two of 20 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 online to vote by liking a picture of their favourite Canstructure on Facebook through the Canstruction Toronto page. The contest closes on May 10th and can be found at

The Canstruction Toronto 2015 winning CANstructures are:

Jurors’ Favourite: Fotuna by BA Consulting Group Ltd.
Structural Ingenuity: Hunger is No Illusion by Turner Fleischer Architects Inc.
Best Meal: CAN You Help Bridge the Gap? by Stephenson Engineering Ltd.
Best Use of Labels: Hunger for Sport by HDR
Honourable Mention: Shifting Perspective by Quadrangle Architects Ltd.

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 taht 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 day and every month.”

The 2015 Canstruction Toronto list of participants is as follows: Aecom Canada Ltd., Aercostics 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., and Turner Fleischer Architects Inc.

The jury was comprised of: David Bowick, principal of Blackwell Engineering; Diarmuid Nash, partner at Moriyama & Teshima Architects; Diego Burdi, creative director at burdifilek; Elsa lam, editor of Canadian Architect; Susur Lee, chef and owner of Lee, Bent and Luckee.

This year’s Canstruction Toronto build took place from 6:00pm on May 4th to 1:00am on May 5th in lobbies of the TD Bank, TD West, TD North and Ernst & Young towers. The completed canstructures were judged anonymously by the jury on May 5th and winners were announced at an evening reception held at the Design Exchange, with Master of Ceremonies Francis D’Souza, reporter and anchor at CityNews. The canstructures will be on display for the public until May 9th at 66 Wellington Street West before being dismantled and donated to the Daily Bread Food Bank.

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