Nuit Blanche 2012 Guide: Getting Around
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Nuit Blanche 2012 Guide: Getting Around

Believe it or not, 12 hours just isn't enough time to see all there is to see of Nuit Blanche 2012. Here's how to get around faster.

With dozens of installations and city blocks to cover, figuring out how you’ll get around without losing your mind—or your sense of humour—is key to keeping Nuit Blanche fun.

This year all three main zones are concentrated in the downtown core, and are closer together than in previous editions of Nuit Blanche. Official projects are roughly in the area between Jarvis and Spadina, and between Front and Dundas Street. This means that, for those official projects at least, everything is within the Bixi system boundaries. Bixi will even get you to many of the independent projects—in the Distillery District, the Fashion District, on the University of Toronto campus, and along Bloor Street. But there’s no feasible way to use the short term rental bikes to get west of Bathurst to West Queen West, a traditional Nuit Blanche hot spot for art aficionados and partiers alike. With exhibits as far west as Roncesvalles Avenue, and as far north as St. Clair, you’ll need to consider supplementary transportation methods, like public transit (or just stick with a bike of your own).

The TTC remains the “better” way than most to move around on Nuit Blanche—or at least, to get to and from the central Nuit Blanche areas. Once again, subway hours have been extended until 7 a.m. on both lines in the core, with trains scheduled every 10–12 minutes on the Yonge-University-Spadina line between St. Clair West Station and Eglinton Station, and every 12–15 minutes on the Bloor-Danforth line between Keele Station and Woodbine Station. There’s also a special day pass for Nuit Blanche. If history is any guide, some surface routes, particularly the east-west streetcars, will be moving very, very slowly. As with most methods of getting around town, patience will be a requirement. But at subway stations at least, there’ll be art to look at on the platform screens.

We say it every year, but with even more scheduled street closures this year we’re saying it again: leave the car at home. Or at least, make sure you park it well away from any of the zones, or clusters of independent projects. (Conceivably, an automobile could skip you from the Distillery District out to West Queen West, so long as you stay well outside the core.) With sections of Yonge, Bay, Queen, King, and Church closed to vehicular traffic, you’ll want to wear comfortable shoes to get to where the exhibits (and people) are. And while Queen Street west of Bathurst Street won’t be officially closed, the 4 a.m. last call some establishments have for the night will likely mean boisterous crowds spilling out into the street, as in previous years.


Focus: Yonge Street west to John, from King south to Front.


Focus: Victoria west to University, from Dundas south to King


Focus: Jarvis west to Yonge, from Shuter Street south to Front.