After living in Toronto for over two years now, it was about time I joined the hundreds of thousands of people crawling the streets from dusk to dawn to see over 100 art installations, performances and musicians during Scotiabank’s 10th annual Nuit Blanche.
Inspired by its Paris counterpart, Nuit Blanche takes place the first Saturday of every October. Unfortunately, for us Canadians, that means it’s going to be one cold night that will force us to perpetuate the Canadian stereotype that we’re a nation of whiskey drinkers. (It’s just to keep warm, I swear!)
Despite the crowds and the cold, Nuit Blanche is a surprisingly relaxing experience.* The city had shut down part of Queen Street West, where a large number of art installations were being held outdoors, and a large chunk of the exhibits were within walking distance of one another. (Although Toronto’s public transit, the TTC, was open all-night and offered a night pass for $11.50 for an unlimited pass.)
Here are some of the exhibits I visited (and remembered to take pictures of because if you can’t Instagram it, it never happened) last night:
Black and White Night, by artist JR
Inside Out is a piece from JR’s Black and White Night collection that has re-tiled the entry-way to City Hall into a collage of photo booth pictures, offered by a photo booth truck nearby.
Throughout the night, the piece gradually expanded on the pavement and even to the elevated walk way that surrounds Nathan Phillips Square. The extended project will continue running for 24 hours until October 12.
Adjacent to Nathan Phillips Square is the Campbell House Museum, where JR continued his collection with Campbell’s House: Your Eye Inside Out. The front portion of the museum was painted white to serve as a backdrop for the screening of an eye of whomever was the next in line. The extended project will run until October 12, from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Further up the street from an art installation of smelly garbage was a small hut hidden inside Bell Trinity Square whose canvas walls were covered in scented markers. Lindsay Bess’ Where Am I From installation is a play on the phrase Canadians are often asked: “Where are you from?,” according to a volunteer at the exhibit.
As you can tell from my second favourite scented marker flavour, cherry, I added “Alberta, Canada” because I’ll forever be an Alberta girl at heart.
What was your favourite exhibit last night? Tweet me some of your photos and experiences @thefttourist or with #thefulltimetourist hashtag! Don’t worry, if you weren’t able to go last night, you can still visit these projects from Oct. 4-12.
And if you’re not already, follow me on Instagram (@thefulltimetourist) to see some unofficial Nuit Blanche performances in Toronto!
*Disclaimer: Nuit Blanche is only relaxing if you’re sober and not with a large group of people. May the odds be ever in your favour.