TORONTO - A Canadian escape artist and magician who's pulled off several death-defying feats hopes the public will help make him disappear by Halloween.

Scott Hammell entered a Plexiglas box — a bit larger than a bus shelter — outside Toronto's transportation hub Union Station on Wednesday morning.

The illusionist is challenging the public to pile up cans of donated food around the box and help him pull off his vanishing act by Halloween — the same night legendary magician Harry Houdini died back in 1926.

"I'm not afraid of no ghosts," quipped Hammell, camped out with a rug and a chair in his little shack.

A grocery chain donated the first 2,000 cans of food that were stacked high around two sides of the box.

The 25-year-old Toronto resident will live on a liquid diet for the stunt, which is part of Free the Children's "Halloween for Hunger" campaign.

"Warm clothes, thermal underwear. I've got lots of warm blankets and jackets so I'll be staying warm that way," he said.

Hammell holds three Guinness World Records. In 2003, he set the record for the world's highest suspension straight jacket escape. He was suspended by his ankles from a hot air balloon, bound with 15 metres of steel chain, four padlocks and a straight jacket.

In 2008, he set the record for the longest inverted juggling duration in his parents' basement in Waterloo, Ont. In 2009, he pulled off the fastest-moving card trick in Perris Valley, Calif.

He has applied for certification from Guinness officials for a daredevil skydiving jump he made in May. He leapt blindfolded and handcuffed out of a plane at 3,350 metres over Hamilton.

He said he's passionate about the issue of local hunger and that's why he's staging this latest stunt, a venture that would make any claustrophobic person sweat.

"I'd say I'm the opposite of claustrophobic," said Hammell. "As an escape artist, you know, getting locked up in handcuffs, this is actually quite big."

Most people have been supportive, offering advice such as "keep on going, dress warm, have fun," he said.

Smiling and reaching through a small window in the box, he shook hands and took pictures with people dropping off donations, including a couple visiting from Spain.

Other supporters, such as Melissa Marchand and Ruby Selorio brought donations of rice, peanut butter, tinned fish and cans of soup.

"This is a great way to give back to the community at this time of year," said Marchand.

"I'd like to see how he's going to manage living in there for five days without maybe going a little insane," added Selorio.

It's hoped the event will be a fun way for children to help fight hunger, said Free The Children co-founder Marc Kielburger.

"Kids from various socio-economic backgrounds can put a can of peas in or some peanut butter or some Froot Loops," said Kielburger.

Donated food will be given to the Daily Bread Food Bank.

Hammell is posting updates about his time in the box on Twitter and offering a video blog on his Facebook page. He can be found atTwitter@ScottHammelland