We have been returning to the Toronto Dominion Centre to take in the annual CANstruction event for many years now, and there are good reasons to stop in again this year. The event pits local engineering and architectural firms against each other in a friendly competition to create impressive displays made out of non-perishable food, all while raising awareness of hunger.

Bitecoin, CANstruction, Daily Bread Food Bank, TorontoBitecoin; Taking a bite out of hunger, by Entuitive with PCL Constructors, image by Craig White

While the event means some quality time for employees at the companies involved—painstakingly devising and then building the food sculptures, something that takes a ton of teamwork—entrants try to outdo each other in four ways, hoping to capture one of a number of prizes.

Helen Kabriel, co-chair of CANstruction Toronto since the chapter's founding, but now retiring, said at the awards reception “Canstruction is a unique way for the design community to collaborate creatively in support of the Daily Bread Food Bank. The competition is a catalyst for a city-wide conversation about hunger and our collective responsibility to address the challenges facing Toronto.”

CANstruction, Daily Bread Food Bank, TorontoTweeting About Hunger, by Turner Fleischer Architects Inc., image by Craig White

Established first in New York City in 1992, CANstructionnow raises millions of pounds of food every year for local food banks in over 200 cities worldwide. This 19th annual Toronto event features 19 sculptural creations, located in the lobbies of all 5 black towers of the Toronto Dominion Centre, and represents 52,165 pounds of food that will be donated to the Daily Bread Food Bank at the end of the event.

Neil Hetherington, CEO of Daily Bread Food Bank, declared at the event that "Canstruction does three great things. It provides almost half of our non-perishable donations in a month when public donations are low; it showcases the creativity and generosity of Toronto's top architects; and it sparks conversations about how we, together, can build a better city and make the lives of Torontonians better."

CANstruction, Daily Bread Food Bank, TorontoThe round side of Slicing Through World Hunger by RJC Engineers, image by Craig White

Judges this year were Andrea Kordos, Principal, blackLAB architects inc.; James Theodorlis, Principal & Director - Building Structures, Morrison Hershfield Limited; Dave LeBlanc, Globe & Mail Architecture Columnist; Norm Li, Principal, Norm Li; and Matt Rosen, Corporate brand chef, Cara Operations. 

Prizes this year went to five teams in the following categories:

Best Original Design to RJC Engineers for Slicing Through World Hunger

Structural Ingenuity to Diamond Schmitt Architects for {H2O} : #JoinTheTide

Best Use of Labels to rebanks pepper littlewood architects inc. and Quinn Dressel Associates for BabushCAN Says Eat!

Best Meal to Turner Fleischer Architects Inc. for Tweeting About Hunger

Honourable Mention to Gensler Architecture & Design Canada, Inc. for CAN-Amorphic

CANstruction, Daily Bread Food Bank, TorontoDiamond Schmitt Architects, winners of the Structural Ingenuity award for {H2O}: #JoinTheTide, image by Craig White

To see all of the structures, make sure you visit all the lobbies, including 79 Wellington Street West, across the street from the other four black towers, so that you can make an informed decision on the one award that remans to be given out: the Peoples Choice Award. The structures will be disassembled after Friday, May 18, but you can vote online here by liking your favourite until Sunday, May 20 at 9 PM.

CANstruction, Daily Bread Food Bank, TorontoOn the Right Track by WZMH Architects, image by Craig White 

Sponsors of CANstruction Toronto include;

Gold Sponsors

Calador Communications, Canadian Architect, Design Exchange: Canada’s Design Museum, Smith + Andersen Consulting Engineers

Silver Sponsors

Construction Specifications Canada, Ontario Association of Architects, Consulting Engineers of Ontario, Ontario Glass and Metals Association

Bronze Sponsors

Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada, Ontario Building Envelope Council, Ontario General Contractors Association, Tile Terrazzo Marble Association of Canada 

CANstruction, Daily Bread Food Bank, TorontoRace Against Hunger! by Echologics Engineering, image by Craig White

Have you made it down to see CANstruction? Got any favourites you'd like to add to the story? Let us know in the comments below!