Toronto by Night: Nuit Blanche 2016

The festival known as Nuit Blanche is an annual arts crawl where downtown Toronto is transformed into a celebration of contemporary art. The event is free, and from dusk to dawn many of the city’s private and public spaces are filled with weird and wonderful installations from both local and internationally renowned artists. Other cities around the world host similar events, though sometimes under different names.

Nuit Blanche Toronto

Our starting point: Toronto City Hall at Nathan Phillips Square.

Held this past weekend, the 2016 edition marks the 11th annual Nuit Blanche for Toronto, and despite being smaller in size than previous years (and notably lacking a title sponsor) the extravaganza is still worth the all-nighter. Just be prepared to walk a lot! The balmy weather and lack of rain also resulted in huge crowds and long lines for the more popular installations.

My photographer friend Jeff and I grabbed our cameras and tripods, and roamed the city for almost 10 hours checking out the various sites around the downtown core. We covered over 24 kilometers on our photowalk, so this turned into a true urban hike. Some of the venues had very long lines, so a few were skipped – being impatient as we were. These were primarily indoor exhibitions; luckily most of the open air installations were readily accessible. Major arteries were converted to pedestrian-only streets, and there was a real party mood throughout the area. The city looked completely different at night, and the overcast skies with low clouds and mist created an enigmatic atmosphere that matched the contemporary art.

Here are some of the photos from that night. Full descriptions of the artwork can be found on the official Nuit Blanche Toronto website.

Nuit Blanche Toronto

The popular 3D TORONTO sign at Nathan Phillips Square. Can figure out how this shot was taken?

Nuit Blanche Toronto

Death of the Sun by Director X, Nathan Phillips Square.

Nuit Blanche Toronto

The Rainbow Serpent by Zzilla, 361 University Avenue.

Nuit Blanche Toronto

Utopia’s Ghost (Fallen Flags) by Arturo Duclos,  John & Stephanie St.

Nuit Blanche Toronto

The Merging by Nicola Verlato, OCAD University.

Nuit Blanche Toronto

The Modest Eyes, OCAD University.

Nuit Blanche Toronto

New Project by Rebecca Belmore, Art Gallery of Ontario.

Nuit Blanche Toronto

Mapping People by Julie Cosgrove & Riaz Mehmood, Sonic Boom.

Nuit Blanche Toronto

Built for Art: A Secret Garden, 401 Richmond St.

Nuit Blanche Toronto

Nova by [R]ed[U]x Lab, 401 Richmond St.

Nuit Blanche Toronto

Waiting by Erwin Olaf, QRC West.

Nuit Blanche Toronto

Nuit Blanche revelers in party costume.

Nuit Blanche Toronto

CITYLights Toronto 2016 by Toronto Lighting Collaborative, Victoria Memorial Square.

Nuit Blanche Toronto

CITYLights Toronto 2016 by Toronto Lighting Collaborative, Victoria Memorial Square.

Nuit Blanche Toronto

CITYLights Toronto 2016 by Toronto Lighting Collaborative, Victoria Memorial Square.

Nuit Blanche Toronto

Meet Me in the Glass House by Tim White-Sobieski, Metro Hall Plaza.

Meet Me in the Glass House by Tim White-Sobieski, Metro Hall Plaza.

Nuit Blanche Toronto

Toronto Metro Hall.

Nuit Blanche Toronto

The Eternal Flame and Roy Thompson Hall, David Pecaut Square.

Nuit Blanche Toronto

Literature vs. Traffic by Luzinterruptus, Hagerman & Elisabeth St.

Nuit Blanche Toronto

Street party at Queen St. Osgoode Hall.

Nuit Blanche Toronto

Pedestrians only on Bay Street at Richmond.

Nuit Blanche Toronto

The Guardians by Vladimir Antaki, Katana on Bay.

Nuit Blanche Toronto

Everyone Thinks the Same Thought by KURT, Commerce Court.

Nuit Blanche Toronto

Fallen Water – Niagara Escarpment by Kevin Cooley, Brookfield Place.

Nuit Blanche Toronto

TD and BMO towers in the low clouds.

Nuit Blanche Toronto

Planetarium/Terminal by Myriam Yates, Toronto Ferry Terminal.

Nuit Blanche Toronto

Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change by Zacharias Kunuck & Ian Mauro, Harbour Square Park East.

Nuit Blanche Toronto

Relaxing and watching the movie screening at Harbour Square Park East.

Nuit Blanche Toronto

The Ghost of Modernity (lixiviados) by Miguel Angel Ríos, Harbour Square Park West.

Nuit Blanche Toronto

Acadèmia dels Desconfiats (Academy of the Distrustful) by Joan Fontcuberta, Showboat Royal Grace Mariposa Cruises.

Nuit Blanche Toronto

Espace du silence (special edition for the Nuit Blanche de Toronto) by Pascal Grandmaison & Marie-Claire Blais, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery.

Nuit Blanche Toronto

Silent Dedication by Shary Boyle, Harbourfront Centre Theatre.

Nuit Blanche Toronto

Asalto Toronto by Daniel Canogar, Union Station.

Nuit Blanche Toronto

The Bay Street underpass at Union Station. Nuit Blanche Toronto 2016!

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Walking Route

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