11 installations you have to check out at Nuit Blanche this weekend

Sep 26 2018, 1:21 am

On September 29, Toronto will be transformed into one of the largest and most unique all-night art festivals in the world, with contemporary art installations scattered throughout the city.

Three City of Toronto-produced exhibitions, in Scarborough, downtown and a third bridging the two neighbourhoods, will be presented under the event-wide theme, “You Are Here.”

This year’s theme focuses on Toronto as a city of change and a city in progress, where artists and curators invite the public to see Toronto through new eyes.

From sundown to sunrise (7 pm to 7 am), Toronto will be yours to discover. And with over 75 contemporary art projects by more than 300 local, national and international artists there’ll definitely be something to pique everyone’s interests.

Not sure what to check out first? We’ve rounded up 11 installations generating serious buzz, in no particular order.


OCAD University

What: Montreal artist Daniel Iregui has created two passaged-based installations at different sites, which invite visitors to walk through an endless tunnel composed of sound and light. During Forward, the viewer travels through endless visual tunnels, evoking a feeling of forever propelling forward.

Where: OCAD University, 100 McCaul Street (The Great Hall, 2nd Floor)

Continuum: Pushing Towards the Light

What: This performance art piece by Brandy Leary, Artistic Director of Anandam Dancetheatre, features an ensemble of dance and circus artists who will use light and movement to engage the unique space of the Eaton Centre bridge over Queen Street West. The performance and its light will radiate from the glass bridge onto the street below.

Where: CF Toronto Eaton Centre bridge, 14 Queen Street West (Continuum will be viewable from below the CF Toronto Eaton Centre Bridge on Queen Street)

On Flashing Lights

Sarah Waldorf and Tristan Bravinder. Courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Trust

What: This light and sound installation by Canadian artist Brendan Fernandes will feature a barricade of police vehicles lined along Bay Street, surrounding an opening space that forms a central stage. Throughout the evening, DJs from Toronto’s queer, immigrant and racialized communities will perform music in an uneasy relationship with the lights of police cars, signalling the historic tension between these groups.

Where: Bay Street and Richmond Street West (Project extends along Bay Street from Richmond Street West to Adelaide Street West)

International Dumpling Festival



What: Hungry patrons can check out artist Ken Lum’s International Dumpling Festival, which is billed as “a street-side public food court serving dumplings in multiple ethnic variations.” This installation will showcase different types of dumplings found in cuisines from around the world.

Where: James Street and Queen Street


Preserved (rendering), 2018

What: Created by London’s Gayle Chong Kwan, Preserved is an immersive photographic installation made of collages of the buildings in early immigrant neighbourhoods, including London’s Limehouse, New York’s Little Italy and Toronto’s Ward. The collages are seemingly preserved in salt, and enlarged to theatrical set-design proportions.

Where: City Hall – Green P Parking Garage, Bay Street ramp, 100 Queen Street West

Walk Among Worlds


Susan Holland/Nuit Blanche

What: This large, immersive installation of inflatable globes of all sizes is a cultural reflection of the political divisions in the world cracked by imaginary lines. Created by Mexico’s Máximo González, the project aims for contemplation and drives to reformulate viewers’ understandings.

Where: Scarborough Town Centre, 300 Borough Drive (Lower Level, Centre Court)

Modernism on the Ganges: Raghubir Singh Photographs

Raghubir Singh

What: If you want to avoid the downtown crowds, the ROM will be staying open all night to present the visionary works of late photographer Raghubir Singh, who pioneered the use of colour film to document the rapidly changing social, political, and cultural scenes of India from the late 1960s to the 1990s. The exhibition features more than 80 photographs and other objects that trace the full trajectory of the artist’s career.

Ghost School

What: After sunset and into the early hours of the next day, St. Joseph’s will relive the past. Images of moments that connect with the school’s history and with Toronto’s early development will be projected onto the site of its old structure.

Where: St Joseph’s College School, 74 Wellesley Street West (Just west of Bay Street, on the north side of the street)

Do Angels Exist

Do Angels exist, Nadine Bariteau

What: This immersive project, commissioned by Vistaprint and created by artist Nadine Bariteau, features luminescent natural images, falling feathers and dragonfly wings that will float above the heads of visitors as they explore the installation. The glowing prints will bring a distinctive representation of the natural world into the urban environment of downtown Toronto — resulting in a great photo backdrop.

Where: Larry Sefton Park, 500 Bay Street

Mirrors of Babel


Mirrors of Babel Artist Rendering

What: This multi-part, multi-venue installation by French Tunisian artist eL Seed features two works constructed of calligraphic architecture based on an Arabic translation of Prairie Greyhounds (1903), a two-part poem by E. Pauline Johnson. The poem’s first half, which describes a westward journey to the “Land to Be,” shapes eL Seed’s work at Yonge-Dundas. The work in Scarborough is based on the poem’s second half, about a return journey home to the east.

Where: Yonge-Dundas Square and 200 Town Centre Court (outside of Scarborough Town Centre)

Radical Histories 2012-2018

Radical Histories

What: As part of the City-produced exhibition “Dream Time: We All Have Stories,” visual artist Ibrahim Mahama has created a site-specific sculptural work that features an epic patchwork of jute fabric that illustrates the conditions of supply and demand in African markets, acknowledging the role that jute sacks play in the international movement of goods.

Where: City Hall – Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen Street West

See also
Ainsley SmithAinsley Smith

+ Listed
+ Arts
+ Public Art