Nuit Blanche 2023 is back in Toronto once again — and it’s shaping up to be bigger and better than ever. With the theme for this year’s massive overnight event as “Breaking Ground,” you can expect to see some (dare we say it?) pretty ground-breaking stuff.
After expanding into Etobicoke, North York, and Scarborough last year, you can bet there’ll be plenty to see and do. Just make sure you’re dressed for the weather, because things can get chilly that late into the night (in case you’re curious, the current forecast is predicting a cool temp of 14 C).
How it works
All artists, exhibitors, sellers, and participants will begin setting up their creations throughout the day, but the festivities technically don’t kick off until 7 p.m. on September 23.
Then, it’s up to you to find and explore over 80 exhibits scattered throughout the city. Predictably, things are usually busiest around 11 p.m., with lines for interactive experiences at their longest.
— blogTO (@blogTO) September 14, 2023
Things start to slow down around the 2 a.m. mark, but most displays will be open until 4:30 a.m, making that sweet liminal space between night and dawn the optimal time to check out the most hyped spots (though some may still be open until 7 a.m. when the festival technically ends).
What to see
Since its expansion into neighbourhoods outside the downtown core, Nuit Blanche 2023 is the perfect chance to swing by spots you’ve never explored before, like the Canada Malting Silos, Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre or Colonel Samuel Smith Park.
If the whole thing seems a bit overwhelming (because honestly, same), make sure to check out one of the five visitor centres, where you can find printed maps, as well as washrooms and food vendors.
What to eat and drink
Though the visitor centres will be offering up snacks, drinks, and eats, there are also plenty of sandwiches, shawarma, Chinese food, and breakfast options throughout the city where you can slake your hunger.
If you’re near Dundas and Ossington you’re not going to want to miss Bruno Billio’s TRON makeover of The Lakeview. The entire diner will be taken over by flourescent lights until 7 a.m. with a special Nuit Blanche brunch menu.
If you’re in Bloorcourt before midnight you might want to sample some snack and zero alcohol cocktails at the Nuit Nuit Night Market.
Other happenings during Nuit Blanche
While there’s so many official Nuit Blanche exhibits to check out don’t be surprised to find some installations and happenings that aren’t part of the official event.
At Cherry Beach you might want to stop by anytime until 4 a.m. for Moon Station, a free all-night rave under the stars featuring electronic DJ sets and good times.
On Geary Avenue there’s the Geary Art Crawl, an event that’s totally separate from Nuit Blanche, but nevertheless a fun street party to experience if you’re in the area before 11 p.m.
With road closures aplenty (not to mention the huge crowds), getting around the city might be just a smidge more challenging this weekend. Closures will start as early as 12 p.m. on certain streets, so it’s best to plan ahead.
Thankfully, the TTC will be operating on an all-night schedule on both Line 1 and Line 2, as well as the shuttle bus network on Line 3 Scarborough. Any day passes purchased on September 23 will be valid until 7 a.m. on September 24.
Pulling an all-nighter for @nuitblancheto? We got you. We’re extending Line 1 and 2 service hours this weekend to ensure a smooth late-night commute. 🌃
— TTC Customer Service (@TTChelps) September 22, 2023