Vignettes of Nuit Blanche

Varsity writers cover the cold, the lines, and everything in between


10:00 pm — My friends and I get off the subway and enter Nathan Phillips Square. The first exhibit we see, curated by Nato Thompson, is Monument to the Century of Revolutions, which consists of shipping containers that represent different moments in revolutionary history and global justice. On our way out, we enter “Porta-Party,” a dance party created through public washrooms. We dance for a bit, then we leave the square to explore further.

11:00 pm — We make our way to “Hendrick’s Gin’s L.E.V.I.TA.T.R.E.,” a hot air balloon covered in images of roses and cucumbers to highlight the key ingredients in Hendrick’s signature gin, which can supposedly elevate your senses. After taking a few pictures, we decide to head over to Netflix’s depiction of the Upside Down. Because of the extremely long line, we opt out and head for Queen’s Park.

12:00 am — After getting off the subway, we follow the loud sound of music to an exhibit called “Automobile,” curated by Joseph Namy, which consists of cars blasting their speakers and engines simultaneously. With our ears still ringing, we continue walking around Queen’s Park and see horses roaming the streets in an exhibit called “Horses.” After exploring some more politically-inclined pieces around Queen’s Park, my friends and I decide to call it a night.

1:00 am — Next stop, home. See you next year, Nuit.

Simona Tersigni


8:05 pm — My friends and I leave my place early in an attempt to avoid the huge crowds that tend to gather later at night. We walk to University of Toronto Schools first and see the “Speculating in Futures” installation, which displays a random passerby’s fortune after pulling a lever.

8:20 pm — We walk past the Bata Shoe Museum, but the line is too long, so we proceed to the Royal Ontario Museum. There, we walk around “The Family Camera” exhibit. It’s quite powerful and resonates with me, especially because I come from a family that really values pictures.

8:55 pm — We arrive at the Faculty of Music. Upon finding a huge and slow-moving line, we decide to skip those exhibits and head over to Queen’s Park. We look at “Where Once Stood a Bandstand for Cruising & Shelter” and experience the unveiling of three different banners. It’s a strange experience because everyone’s running around, trying to catch what the banners say.

9:20 pm — We hear there are horses. Assuming everyone’s joking, we find actual horses at Queen’s Crescent and our minds are blown.

9:25 pm — We walk toward King’s College Circle. We first encounter the installation “Automobile,” which consists of a bunch of cars with open trunks and doors, and really loud music. We’re not sure we understand the point of this, but we enjoy the music anyway.

9:40 pm — We walk to the Medical Sciences building where “Holding Still//Holding Together,” a live performance about putting bodies on the line for the sake of political resistance is being held.

9:52 pm — We run into a group displaying video footage of slaughterhouses, which seems to be garnering mixed reactions from the crowd.

10:15 pm — We line up at the AGO to see “The Forest,” a performative piece where one person reads and two other groups repeat their words. It’s a little difficult to understand the meaning behind it, but we enjoy the walk through the AGO.

11:00 pm — We arrive at OCAD University, but we can’t find the art.

11:20 pm — As we walk over to Nathan Phillips Square, we see an exhibit with people dressed like pigs serving human heads, presumably another commentary on eating meat.

11:30 pm — We’re in line for Monument to the Century of Revolutions, the exhibit we were most excited for. Some of the shipping containers were interesting, but it’s difficult to follow because of the number of people.

1:00 am — We head home, exhausted after the long night.

Farida Abdelmeguid


8:47 pm — We make our way down to Nathan Phillips Square. I quickly realize that we have underestimated the size of the crowd, and we prepare ourselves for standing in what seems to be a never-ending line to even enter.

9:34 pm — We finally make it inside the enclosure to see Monument to the Century of Revolutions. There are posters plastered everywhere reading, “Your profit, our trauma!” and “End the war on poor.” There are also flags hanging with the names of their respective nation’s revolutions written across them, which I find the most intriguing, especially the Iranian flag that reads “Green Revolution.”

10:18 pm — We try and make our way to Netflix’s Stranger Things-themed simulation of the Upside Down. We find it, but also a line. Actually, we can’t seem to find the end of the line. We keep walking until we get to Queen Street and still don’t see an end to this line in sight. A woman comes up to us and tells us that it’s apparently a four-hour wait to get in. We abandon it.

10:48 pm — After a quick break at Starbucks to refuel, we make our way to Dundas Street West and Chestnut Street for “Embassy,” where the line isn’t too long.

11:15 pm — We get inside “Embassy,” which looks like the skeleton of a newly developing building. Staff members explain that the exhibit represents how temporary all of our structures are and that the skyscrapers that surround us will be torn down one day.

11:46 pm — Still on Dundas. There’s a video installation above street level that instructs me to “take a picture of this.” I comply.

11:48 pm — We’re on University Avenue now in front of the exhibit “Warm Up To Me,” which features portraits of different men and women staged in a simulated living room in the alley between two office buildings.

12:10 am — Another line, this one to get into Campbell House.

12:45 am — Still in line.

12:53 am — We finally make it inside and see the impressive Lacy Hill, singing with guitar.

1:23 am — I’m officially too cold to stand in any more lines, and we decide to call it a night.

Yasaman Mohaddes

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