Nuit Blanche is an overnight art festival that is held annually in early October in Toronto that starts at sundown on a Saturday night and wraps up at sunrise on Sunday morning. Needless to say, for those of you who know me, this requires careful preparation (for those of you who don’t know me, my bedtime’s around 11 or if the Oilers are part of the Saturday night doubleheader, I might be able to stay up for the first 2 periods). Since you know I’m basically an art caveman (or maybe neophyte is a nicer word) I appreciate art at its face value. From previous years, we’ve seen that Nuit Blanche is for everyone so I was looking forward to some art!
After a very late nap, we were ready to go around 8 pm. This year it was cold- single digits above freezing, so we bundled up and decided our first stop would be Fort York. This seems to be my new favourite part of the city after living close to it for over a decade. We explored the new visitors’ centre which just opened a few weeks ago (a very lovely unassuming building that is built in to a slope right underneath Toronto’s behemoth Gardiner freeway) to start things off, and while I totally didn’t get the sound exhibit there, at least the building was nice, and we also wandered through the Fort. I didn’t take a picture, but there was also a cool interactive piece in the Fort, which included a set up of many different doors for you to walk through, representing life choices and perspectives (I only figured this out from the signs on the doors, otherwise, forget it!), and at the end there was a big screen that showed a breakdown of choices people made (I’m guessing the big graph of results resonated with me!). From here we made our way back to King St. West and wandered along it to Queen and John where we came to the picture I’ve called jungle and which I simply appreciated for being what it was. We turned down Queen St. West which was so packed with people and street performers that we needed to get off it just to move. In a parking lot just off Queen St. was a people maze to walk through. And then off to Spadina to check out a few more displays which included all these globes lit up with blue light hanging from trees in a little school yard, the store in Chinatown that was set up to look like a 7-11 but was called 8-11, the prism of lights which lit up the sky from Chinatown and met near the top of the CN Tower to create a bright white light, the screaming booths that people lined up to get in to and let some steam off without anyone hearing them, and one of my favourite displays, the wrecking ball video that just bounced off the side of a building (sorry, I can’t load a video here, otherwise it would be). All in all we were out for about 4 hours wandering the art-filled streets of TO, and for the record, I think I was in bed by 1 am!