Jun 9, 2023

CANstruction’s 21st Year of Fighting Hunger Through Design

If you walked into the lobby of the Toronto Dominion Centre in mid-May, you may have seen an Easter Island head. Or a balloon-animal bunny. Or the Tower of Sauron from the Lord of the Rings.  

In total, there were 20 different sculptures decorating the lobbies of these downtown buildings, each one made of only one thing: nonperishable food. These were the entries in CANstruction Toronto, an annual design competition in which architecture and engineering firms across the city vie for awards like Best Original Design and Structural Ingenuity, as judged by a jury of industry experts. After a few days on display, their creations are then “decanstructed.” and all the food is donated to Daily Bread Food Bank.  

This year, the 20 teams donated over 57,000 cans, most of which were extremely high-value items, like tuna. In total, Canstruction Toronto has provided over 1 million pounds of food to the fight against hunger. 

While the competition focused on design and innovation, it also shone a spotlight on the severity of the city’s food insecurity crisis. “Get Crackin’!”, a creation that won two awards, depicted a coin cracking an egg open, to symbolize how skyrocketing food inflation has priced some staples like eggs out of many families’ budgets.  

Neil Hetherington, CEO, Daily Bread Food Bank, talked about Canstruction’s impact in his speech at the event’s awards night, quoting a civil rights leader in the U.S. named Bryan Stevenson. “He said that ‘The opposite of poverty is not wealth, but justice.’ And every single time you laid a can on that structure, you were planting a bit of justice, for the person who’s going to open up that can and have access to the food that they need and have a right to,” Neil said. “And for that I am profoundly grateful.” 

Thank you so much to the Canstruction teams and organizers! We are so thankful for your help in the fight against hunger, and can’t wait to see what you come up with next year. 

Find out how you can help fight food insecurity in our city by visiting www.dailybread.ca today.

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