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Toronto’s 18th annual CANSTRUCTION celebrates design and giving

In all 50,000 pounds of donated non-perishable food were sculpted into statues.


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Best Original Design winner, BeaCAN of Hope by Aercoustics Engineering, at Canstruction Toronto 2017. (photo: David Crowder Photography)

There were 18 structures created by teams of professional designers, architects, engineers and students for the 18th annual Canstruction Toronto Competition, held in the heart of Toronto’s Bay Street financial district in mid-May.

This year’s winner for best original design at the creative and community awareness-raising event went to Aercoustics Engineering Ltd, for its BeaCAN of Hope design.

This year’s competition took place from 6 p.m., Monday, May 15th, to 1 a.m. Tuesday, May 16th, with judging taking place later that day and the award-winners announced at an evening reception.

Awards were also presented for Structural Ingenuity (winner: Blackwell Structural Engineers); Best Use of Labels (winner: Turner Fleischer Architects); Best Meal (winner: Echologics); and Most Cans (winner: IBI Group).

In all 50,000 pounds of donated non-perishable food were sculpted into statues. The structures remained on display for public viewing in the lobbies of the busy TD Bank, TD North and Ernst & Young towers until May 19th. They were then disassembled and donated to Daily Bread Food Bank, the city’s largest distributor of food to food banks and meal programs.

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Winner for Structural Ingenuity, “Hunger: Quite the Pickle!” by Blackwell Structural Engineers. (photo: David Crowder Photography)

“Canstruction is a unique food drive and a way for the design community to collaborate creatively while giving back to our community,” says Helen Kabriel, co- chair of Canstruction Toronto. “We not only make a meaningful contribution to Daily Bread Food Bank, but the structures also provoke a city-wide discussion on hunger and the challenges facing Toronto.”

In 2016, Canstruction accounted for 56% of the Food Bank’s public donations in May.

“Canstruction is a terrific, very creative way to get people thinking and talking about hunger in our city, and it fills our shelves with food during a slow time for donations, so it’s a complete win-win,” said Gail Nyberg, executive director of Daily Bread Food Bank.

Other competitors in Canstruction Toronto 2017 included: Canadian Turner Construction Company and Thorton Tomasetti; Candevcon Ltd.; Diamond Schmitt Architects + Arup Canada; Entuitive and PCL Constructors; Gensler; GM BluePlan Engineering; Isherwood Geostructural Engineers; Petroff Partnership Architects/ARK; Quadrangle Architects; rebanks pepper littlewood architects with Quinn Dressel Associates; Ryerson University, department of architectural science; Walsh Canada; WZMH Architects.

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Winner of Most Cans and People’s Choice, “We CAN Unite” by IBI Group. (photo: David Crowder Photography)

Canstruction Toronto also had a “People’s Choice Award”, encouraging the public to participate online casting a vote by liking a picture of their favourite sculpture on Facebook.

Canstruction Toronto 2017 Jury: Mike Moffat, managing principal, Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd.; Meg Graham, principal, superkül; Joe Pettipas, director of business development, senior vp, HOK; Anne Yarymowich, chef/professor, George Brown College; and Bronwen Parsons, former editor, Canadian Consulting Engineer magazine.

Gold sponsors of the event: Building Magazine, Calador Communications, DNS Industries Ltd., Design Exchange, Canada’s Design Museum, Smith + Andersen.

Silver sponsors: Construction Specifications Canada, Consulting Engineers of Ontario, Ontario Association of Architects, and XL Insurance.