Area: University Avenue from Queen Street up to Queen's Park.
There are only a few events on Toronto’s calendar that bring out the masses like Nuit Blanche does—and the others usually involve some kind of holiday, a procession of floats, a man dressed in a red suit, or men dressed in nothing at all. Curator Patrick Macaulay recognized Nuit Blanche as a kind of anti-parade, in which the spectators pass by the different attractions. He capitalizes on this idea along University Avenue, in the PARADE zone. You’ll see typical parade fare, like clowns and inflatable characters, but not in the way you might expect.
Monster Child — Libby Hague
A giant inflatable child-like thing battles a giant inflatable spider-monster-like thing that the audience controls by pulling on several ropes attached to its limbs. This is supposed to be a comment on humankind’s dual nature, but mostly it’ll probably look really cool.
Warning: The creepiness factor might not be for everyone.
(X)Static Clown Factory — Ruth Spitzer and Claire Ironside
What’s a parade without clowns? Inspired by Dr. Seuss, this multimedia piece promises an interactive experience. You might walk away with a balloon or other prizes.
Highlights: A promise that some onlookers will be “clownified.”
Warning: Not for those suffering from coulrophobia.
PARALLAX — Idea Tank Collective
You know how every year there’s one giant moving light wall that everyone says you “have to see?” This is this year’s edition.
Highlights: As much as “giant light wall” has become a bit of a Nuit Blanche trope, they are still pretty great to look at.
Warning: Giant light walls are drunk asshole magnets for some reason.
HOW TO SEE IN THE DARK — Margaux Williamson
Anyone who regularly goes camping or cottaging in the summertime knows how dark and quiet the night suddenly becomes. Toronto artist Margaux Williamson is leading a silent, still protest to take back the night in the city.
Highlights: A cool concept, as well as a chance to get off your feet and relax.
Warning: The sights and sounds of the rest of Nuit Blanche might make this a challenging task.
Human Sweat Generator — Warren Quigley
If walking through the night’s exhibits hasn’t provided enough exercise, or you’ve eaten too much poutine, take a ride on these bikes. Your pedalling will power the exhibit’s mix of lights, sounds, and projections.
Highlights: Reminds us of the energy-generating bikes we loved as kids at the Ontario Science Centre.
Warning: Might sap any remaining energy you have.
Plan your Nuit Blanche with the help of our guides…