Your Nuit Blanche 2014 Survival Guide

By Lisa Lagace

That glorious time of year has arrived again.

Yes, it’s time for another round of Nuit Blanche – that all night contemporary art thing we’ve come to know and love over the past 8 years.

It takes a special kind of person to endure 12 hours on their feet for the sake of art – as fun as it can be, it’s also a marathon of sorts.

So we put together a few tips to help you survive this particular artistic race…

There’s really no excuse to venture out into the night with no clue as to what’s going on. You’ll wander around wasting your time and probably complaining that you only saw a few underwhelming creations. The Nuit Blanche website has this super handy Plan My Night planner that allows you to easily choose the art you want to see ahead of time. This is a vital tool in order to get the most out of your night.

Unless you’re in it just to walk around to a few things and then hit the bar, don’t dress up like you’re going to said bar. You’re going to an all-night on your feet art exhibit in October – in Canada. Comfortable shoes are the most important thing that will prevent you from capping out before everyone else. Prepare for the possibility of rain and chilly weather. Wear layers. Bring an umbrella. Your friend might look cute in her Louboutins at 7pm but we promise she’ll be hobbling along after the first installation…

As soon as you hit the streets look for one of those trusty red information tents and grab a map. It’ll make finding your chosen installations that much faster, ensuring you don’t miss a thing.

In fact, the less people you attend with, the easier it will be. If you do go with a big group, expect that you’re going to lose some along the way in the mess of crowds and craziness. Also, it’s rare that all your friends are going to want to see all the same things. People will split up – so it’s simply easier if you do so right away to avoid wasting time debating on what to head to next. The night is much less stressful when you can go freely to the next thing you want to see.

While the TTC will be running all night (as it should every night, but we digress) keep in mind that many of the major streets will be closed to traffic. If you’re planning on hitting up every different zone, ditch the car – it will be a nightmare. The TTC really is your best bet. Or, if your pals are up for it, bike around to make everything that much easier. They can rent a Bixi if they don’t already own one. You should also have Uber loaded onto your phone in case you want to grab a quick cab at the end of a very long night on your feet.

There’s just way too much happening to fit it all within the 12 hours it’s available to you. And let’s face it – even the most well rested, well caffeinated human is going to feel exhausted after 6 hours of exploring the city on foot – so you definitely won’t make it all 12. (Note: this is not a challenge.) If you plan a giant list of things to see, you’re going to be staring at all the installations you didn’t make it to come 3am and feel really bummed that you’re missing out on it because your body is craving a bed. Limit yourself to the ones you’re really excited for and you won’t be disappointed by the time you hit that wall.

Bring an extra battery for your phone. Don’t eat anything too heavy during the event – it’ll make you sleepy faster. Save your daily caffeine intake for once the event actually starts. Get a good night’s sleep the night before. Avoid the big expensive installations everyone’s talking about – the lines will be HUGE and it probably won’t be worth it. Follow the #snbTO hashtag on Twitter and Instagram to find out which ones are actually worth it.



Want more updates on the most Notable things happening so you know before your colleagues do? Get our exclusive newsletter here and follow us on Twitter for all the latest.