06 October 2014
Ken Ramsay

Nuit Blanche, a Contrasting Name for such a Colourful Event


From 6:53 PM until sunrise this past Saturday Oct 4, the streets of Toronto were alive with contemporary art exhibitions and spectators who were hitting the pavement for an all nighter dedicated to Nuit Blanche. The annual free event was a success as usual, with 80 independent projects by the art community and four curated exhibitions by the city of Toronto that featured 48 projects. 

From laser rainbows lighting up the sky, to acrobatic displays, there was a little bit of everything to please the large crowds. An interesting angle of the event was the focus on Toronto itself and architectural hot spots.

Of many historically relevant buildings in Toronto, Rae Johnson of Toronto was able to execute her project “Toronto: A City of Dreams”, from the Mackenzie House on Bond St. Built between 1856-1858, the house was the last home of Toronto’s first mayor, William Lyon Mackenzie. This makes it a relevant choice for her project, which was a projection of still and moving images that provided the audience with a visual of the contrast between historic and urban life in Toronto.

For those who were trying to escape the hustle and bustle of some of the displays that had long lineups, there was the famous network for art that is 401 Richmond Street. Without even going inside, the building might spark curiosity for architecture and history buffs, as its construction started in 1899. Although it had had been juggled through many owners, it received a new lease on life when it was purchased by the Zeigler Family who had the intentions of steering the building towards an artistic future. The 200 000 square foot building now houses over 140 artists, making this the perfect location for “Built for the Arts: The Shape and Form of the Future,” which showcased many interactive exhibitions.

One exhibition that stood out was “How does your Neighbourhood Grow?” at the Urban Space Gallery presented by the Centre for City Ecology. It had interactive density models that allowed partakers to see the impact of density and energy consumption in Toronto, related to the steadily growing numbers of people moving to Toronto.

With events like Nuit Blanche, which allow for people to explore the streets with twists of adventure and intrigue, it is no wonder the numbers are growing.

  Photo by Andrew Williamson

Photos courtesy of BlogTO (Matt Forsythe/Andrew Williamson)