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Nuit Blanche 2012: Your Guide to All-Night Art

Believe it or not, 12 hours just isn't enough time to see all there is to see of Nuit Blanche 2012. Check out our picks for the spots you shouldn't miss.

Grab your mittens, your tumblers of coffee, your walking shoes, and your imagination: Nuit Blanche is upon us once more.

Last year was a good one. One of the best even, we thought. With a tighter density of projects, local businesses getting in on the late-night action, and an atmosphere more akin to a fair than a museum, the fifth annual Nuit Blanche was, in our opinion, a landmark year. Spin-off events have popped up in Calgary and Ottawa, too. Meanwhile, an increasing number of unofficial Nuit Blanche events that pop up around the city validate its popularity in their own way.

In any case, the 2012 edition, its seventh, is a make-it-or-break-it event.

Nuit Blanche walks a fine line between commercialism and artistic integrity; crowd-pleasing, large-scale installations and personal experiences; absolute mayhem and moments of quiet contemplation; and international names and support for local artists. Tip one way or the other, and the entire experience changes. Now drawing over one million attendees to the streets of Toronto’s downtown core, Nuit Blanche isn’t in danger of disappearing into the night. But with this year’s fitting theme of the Apocalypse, the identity Nuit Blanche seemed to find last year is still fragile and could easily self-destruct. So we’ll be keeping watch over it this year as we trek into the city from sunset to sunrise on Saturday night.

To help you make the most of the 12 hours of contemporary art in the dark, we’ve pulled together our must-sees for each of the three zones, as well as a few tips on how best to navigate the city and where to grab some nosh to refuel your energy supply when it runs low.

Happy wandering!

Click on each image to learn more…

CORRECTION: 3:41 PM We miscounted! This is the seventh year for Nuit Blanche, not the sixth as we originally wrote, and the Montreal edition predated ours.


  • Anonymous

    The “spin-off” event in Montreal spun-off 4 years before the one in Toronto and is the closing event of the 11-day winter festival ‘Montréal en Lumière’, now in its 14th year.

    Just thought you might like to know!

    • Anonymous

      Right you are. We’ve corrected the post above.

  • MyETVmedia

    Are you missing ART of Fashion – RAW at Hazelton Lanes tonight 7pm-1am where the Most Promising New Designer of the Year Award will be voted on?

  • City Slicker

    My experience with Nuit Blanche ……an excuse for drunken hordes to descend on the city.

    • Robert Stemmler

      Same here! I was so disappointed. I enjoyed the past events, but this year was just simply horrible.