CANstruction Citywide Competition

Annual Design-Build competition with canned food to alleviate hunger

Members of our NORRForward team in Toronto, ON, were ready to make a difference against hunger at the 22nd annual CANstruction Design-Build event.

The global competition supports local charities and sheds light on food insecurity worldwide. Through citywide competitions, CANstruction brings together the AEC industry (and other groups) to raise awareness about hunger issues and help alleviate it with non-perishable donations. Teams compete for awards in the following categories: Best Original Design, Structural Ingenuity, Best Meal, Most Cans, Best Use of Labels and People’s Choice. Winners from each local competition go on to compete internationally.

This year, our team’s concept “Community, Growth, Inclusion” was inspired by stalagmites. Just as stalagmites build slowly over time from the ground up, our community’s collective efforts can create a strong foundation for inclusivity and support. These naturally forming structures symbolize the gradual progress towards a future where everyone has access to nutritious food and opportunities for growth.

According to the United Nations’ latest report on Food Security and Nutrition in the World, there is work to do to meet the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets of ending both hunger and food insecurity (Target 2.1) and all forms of malnutrition (Target 2.2). Conflict, climate extremes, economic slowdowns, urbanization and growing inequality have globally challenged meeting the SDG 2 targets in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

On the local level, events like CANstruction help replenish food banks and community members facing food insecurity. The team spent seven hours building their temporary structure at the competition site – the Toronto Dominion Centre in the city’s downtown core. Upon completion, all structures will be included in a week-long exhibition followed by the “decanstruction” and donation of all canned food to the Daily Bread Food Bank. This year, the NORRForward team contributed 4872 cans weighing 2666 pounds to the cause. All cans from the Toronto event will be distributed across the non-profit’s 207 local programs, schools and support centers. Over the years, CANstruction Toronto has donated more than one million pounds of food to fight hunger in the city.