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Canstruction Toronto returns for its 21st year to address the city’s hunger gap

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May 17, 2023

Canstruction returns to Toronto this year, bringing architects, engineers, designers, and students together for an important cause. 

Now in its 21st year, the design competition is a creative solution to addressing the city’s hunger gap. Participants design and build sculptures using cans of non-perishable food and after the event, the cans are donated. In 2019 alone, 68,785 pounds of food were donated to the Daily Bread Food Bank in Toronto. 

Previous years have seen inventive “canstructions” of moose, a jungle gym, the Apollo Lunar Module, and even Vincent van Gogh’s iconic self-portrait! 

This year, our Canstruction entry is a colourful take on Moai, the well-known megaliths on Easter Island (also known as Rapa Nui), carved by the Rapa Nui people centuries ago.  

Cans of tuna, kidney beans, and whole kernel corn mimic the colours of nature and the home of the Moai — lush, green vegetation and a boundless blue sky — and in a future where these megaliths, ironically associated with the deforestation and depletion of Easter Island, will be reclaimed by nature. Just like on the island, our planet has limited resources that we must manage responsibly. 

The result, as intended by KPMB’s Canstruction team, is a playful visualization of the power of nature and a hope that even in the worst conditions, we can find harmony once more. 

Our “canstruction,” made up of 3,552 cans, was awarded “Best Use of Labels” by the jury and will contribute 2,220 pounds of food to this year’s donation. 

“KPMB has been a supporter of the Daily Bread Food Bank drive and a participant in Canstruction for many years,” said Roxane Bejjany, associate and member of the team. “Using our design platform and voice to bring awareness and give back to the community is very important to us, especially with the rising levels of food insecurity in the city.” 

Andrew Dyke, partner and fellow team member added, “We treat it like any other project in the office, as an opportunity to empower staff to produce and construct their own concept.” 

“It’s a microcosm of all the projects we design and reflects our core values to encourage collaborative teamwork, apply design rigour, and support the community. It’s an important cause to support, and it’s also a lot of fun!” 

The sculptures will be on display for public viewing from May 16–19 at the TD Centre on 66 Wellington Street West and can be voted for here.

We’re grateful to have been supported by an incredible Canstruction team and several values-aligned organizations. 

Canstruction team: Roxane Bejjany, Ramy Mohammad, Olena Chorny, Lauren Marshall, Nick Choi, Yvonne Osei, Andrew Dyke, Jason Chang, Jessica Haire, Joan Gardner, Leo Liu, Nick Jones, and Robert Faber. 

Our sponsors: Kindred Works, First Gulf, Norm Li, Holten Impex, Wellington Altus Group Solutions, Sobeys, Blackwell Structural Engineering, Shibley Righton LLP, Clarke-Way Travel, Crossey Engineering Ltd., and Hub International Ontario Limited. 

Learn more here.