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Surviving Nuit Blanche 101: Tips And Tricks For A Great Nuit Out
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Surviving Nuit Blanche 101: Tips And Tricks For A Great Nuit Out

Picture of Sidney Drmay
Updated: 11 December 2015
2015 Scotiabank Nuit Blanche hits Toronto this Saturday, and art-lovers are planning on how to make this annual event, now in its 10th year, the best art-based night out ever. Previous attendees will know that a game plan is necessary to ensure your night goes smoothly. Whether it’s arming yourselves with snacks, fighting the chill, or ensuring you see the hottest events, preparation is key. Don’t let the necessary preparation dissuade you – this is not the time to stay in to watch Netflix. Follow the survival guide below to make your Nuit Blanche evening a serious success.
Nuit Blanche | © Allen Lai/Flickr
Nuit Blanche | © Allen Lai/Flickr

First: Assemble a crew

Make sure you are going with friends with whom no matter what you’re doing and where you are, it can be an amazing night. Ideally, everyone will have previously met to avoid awkward introductions and uncertain conversations. If this isn’t possible, embrace your new art-loving friends! Remember group dynamics: you want friends who know each other, get along and can spend 12 hours running around downtown.

Second: Sustenance

Snacks: please remember snacks. Those doing the long haul won’t want to have to stop at McDonald’s three times during this adventure to keep from starving. Snacks like granola bars, apples and sandwiches are ideal to keep with you during the night and will tide you over until you all roll up to Fran’s on the way home. To avoid queues and the expenses of repeated café visits, don’t forget a thermos with some hot apple cider or coffee.

Third: Plan

Plan, plan, plan. Map out exhibits you want to see, the spots that have the coolest artists and maybe some venues with washrooms. Remember that the sponsored events aren’t the only things happening, and smaller venues and lesser known galleries across the city are also celebrating. The joy of planning is that you won’t have a twenty minute long debate on a street corner about whether or not you want to see the piece that has been put at Yonge and Dundas Square this time.

Here are some of our alternative Nuit Blanche event suggestions:

Crip Interiors

Crip Interiors is an installation exploring artists’ corporeal, spiritual, psychic, and cosmic experiences of disability, madness, and chronic illness featuring seven artists who take ‘crip’ and reflect it back to honor and expose how disability and difference disrupt the everyday in creative, productive ways.

Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street, Toronto, Ontario

Adrenaline Tattoo

Adrenaline Tattoo features a front row seat to see tattooing with DJing and two body piercers offering their services till early in the morning. Stop by to watch someone get tattooed and maybe get a piercing souvenir of the night!

Adrenaline Tattoos, 239 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario

Callejon de Memorias: Embodying Memory

Callejon de Memorias: Embodying Memory features an immersive dance installation of contemporary and Venezuelan folklore fusion with a labyrinth of cloths, shadows, percussive sounds-capes and projections in a womb-like space. The exhibit explores the experiences of Latin American-Canadian migrant artists.

Shaolin Tempe Quanfa Institute Toronto, 393 Dundas West, 2nd Floor, Toronto, Ontario

Cruise Nuit Blanche Away

If you dig bike riding you should definitely consider participating in the Cruise Nuit Blanche Away experience where you can meet at Spadina and Bloor with a bike decked out with lights, glowsticks and portable radios to ride around and have some adventures.

Spadina and Bloor


Johnnyland is an all-night music and art festival hidden inside the Nuit Blanche fun! You can find crowds of mismatched punks and random passerby enjoying some stellar tunes and checking out some local art. The only downfall is that you may want to stay all night long…

Dundas Street West and Bathurst Street


TAKE BACK THE NUIT is a political dance party with performances inside Chester Station. This event is driven around women-centric performances and experiences.

The Artists Newsstand, 22 Chester Avenue, Toronto, Ontario

Sculpture at Nuit Blanche | © Sam Javanrouh/Flickr
Sculpture at Nuit Blanche | © Sam Javanrouh/Flickr

Despite all of this, it’s still likely you’ll have some moments where you’re missing your bed – it is twelve hours, after all. Be prepared to have grouchy moments but don’t let it stop you. Ultimately you just have to set out with a solid group of friends and create your own fun based of the enthusiasm of your crew. The art will be a great addition to the memories you’ll make during the all-nighter running around Toronto, getting some amazing selfies with art pieces and hitting up a diner for pancakes and coffee at 7:30 A.M. (looking a bit ragged) before going home to sleep it all off.