nuit blanche toronto 2019

A guide to Nuit Blanche 2019 in Toronto

Nuit Blanche 2019 is back in Toronto for another round of art beneath the stars, this time with a new theme, Continuum, that responds to the interconnected and often contradictory paradoxes of life in a changing city.

This edition of Nuit Blanche is the second year in a row the arts festival will take place in Scarborough with tons of must-see installations and creative programming. It's also the first time ever the all-night art thing will have projects on Danforth East.

Anyone planning on staying out late into the night should dress for some cool weather. It's going to be a bit overcast when evening hits with a forecast of 13 C, and there's a 30 per cent chance of rain.

How it works

Some artists and builders will be out tinkering away at their installations during the day, but this wondrous evening of arts exploration doesn't technically start until 7:00 p.m. tonight (October 5). 

Once the clock strikes, it's off to check out as many as 90 projects (it's physically impossible to see them all) scattered around the city from over local, national, and international artists. 

The busiest time is usually around 11 p.m. when lines really start to fill up. It starts to die down a bit around 2 a.m., with most big displays puttering out around 4:30 a.m., when the sensible crowds have already scattered. 

If you're trying to avoid lines, however, sometime after 3 a.m. might be the best time to go: drunken festival-goers should be passed out in their beds by then, and the witching hours leading up to 7 a.m.—when the festival officially ends—might offer some quiet magic for the dedicated to check out some art. 

What to see

The bulk of installations are in and around Nathan Phillips Square and Yonge-Dundas Square, where you'll find the biggest crowds, but there's also things to see at The Bentway, Fort York and Scarborough among many other locations.

Nuit Blanche is also a good opportunity to check out the many cool arts and cultural institutions around the city if you've never had a chance to visit before like the Power Plant,  MOCA and Ontario Science Centre.

Also, while it's a separate event and not officially part of Nuit Blanche, the Queen West BIA is putting on three exciting projects including an all night disco party in Graffiti Alley.

If you have no idea where to begin your journey, head to one of four event centres closest to you to grab a map or get some info from a volunteer and start from there. Otherwise just follow the hoards of people.

What to eat and drink

If you're going to be traipsing around the city all night, you're going to need some sustenance. Thankfully there are more than enough spots around the city open late to keep you fuelled.

Aside from food trucks around the main festival areas, food options include everything from the usual late night Chinese spots, and well as the always reliable 24 hour restaurants.

A number of bars along Queen West also have special permission to stay open later and serve booze for two hours beyond the usual last call.

Getting around

Due to the immense number of human bodies cramming up into specific areas in the city, y0u can expect travelling around Toronto will be a little different than usual. 

For the second year in a row, the festival will be doing partial road closures this weekend to ensure pedestrian safety as they wander around.

You can also always just take the TTC subway which is open all night long. Some streetcar service will also be extended.

It was previously announced that there would be some shuttle buses running in East York for the Ontario Science Centre and Aga Khan Museum but those have been canceled.

Before heading out, make sure you download the event map on your phone to keep track of all the different installations near you. 

Photo Challenge

Nuit Blanche is a huge photo opp, so why not tag your photos on Instagram for a chance to win prizes? The contest starts when Nuit Blanche does at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday October 5 and the deadline to submit is the end of day October 6.

All you have to do is tag your best shots with the #blogTOnbTO hashtag. Not on Instagram? You can also e-mail the photos to us at photochallenge [at] blogto [dotcom].

We'll then narrow the entries to ten finalists and put the winners to a vote from October 7 to October 13 after which the winners will be announced.

Prizes for the top three photos include:

  • 1st place: $200 Scarborough Town Centre gift card
  • 2nd place: $100 Scarborough Town Centre gift card
  • 3rd place: $50 Scarborough Town Centre gift card
Lead photo by

Andrew Williamson

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