September 23, 2023 at 7pm – September 24, 2023 at 7am
This Nuit Blanche, we invite you down to The Bentway and surrounding area for a series of installations that light up the neighbourhoods along the Gardiner Expressway.
It’s the first opportunity to explore Staging Grounds, a new public space pilot designed by architectural studios Agency-Agency (New York) and SHEEEP (Toronto). The site features an inaugural visual art commission by local artist Logan MacDonald. Fountain Monumental is a series of 20-foot-tall images that re-imagine the original shoreline of Lake Ontario, which traced the same path as the Gardiner Expressway today. MacDonald challenges the notion of historical accuracy and authorship by creatively collaborating with digital tools to produce these arresting images. He presents a revisionist history and a speculative, fantastical present and future.
It’s also your last chance to experience Beyond Concrete, our summer exhibition exploring the broader ecosystem under the Gardiner, where human-made infrastructure intertwines with resilient flora and fauna, growing in spite of, and because of, the concrete. Artwork is presented at both The Bentway Skate Trail and The Bentway Studio. Throughout the evening, Leeroy New’s The Aliens of Manila will be landing for an electric performance at the Bentway’s Skate Trail. If you missed their performance in May, be sure to put this on your Nuit Blanche agenda before they leave Toronto!
Alongside this, we’re pleased to present installations with Concord at their Under-Gardiner space at 470 R Lake Shore Boulevard West, and return to light up the Canada Malting Silos at Bathurst Quay with a projection of New York-based artist Mark Dorf’s ambitious film A New Nature. The piece, which recently flooded the screens at Time Square for April 2023’s Midnight Moment, proposes a new way of understanding humans’ role within a larger ecological system and how that system is increasingly mediated by technology. Come to Spadina Pier to consider the transformation of the historic silos, the city, and the waterfront in the context of a broader urban ecosystem and its hybrid future.
Inside The Bentway Studio, Montreal-based emerging designers Studio Rat continue the Bentway’s exploration of the role that waste plays in the larger Gardiner Expressway ecosystem. For Nuit Blanche, they have created the immersive installation Shared Space that reuses single-use plastics in unexpected ways to explore the possibilities of inflatable architecture and circular design. Step inside Shared Space and experience a snapshot of our shared consumer habits transformed into a gathering space, with a mesmerizing soundscape by Toronto’s experimental pop-duo MONEYPHONE.
Collectively The Bentway installations along the Dan Leckie corridor and across the under-Gardiner area reveal the connective potential of an emerging public realm, explore the thriving urban ecosystem beneath the highway, reflect on the layered history and performance of the waterfront neighbourhood, and demonstrate the critical role art will play in the neighborhood’s ongoing transformation.
Opens September 2023
Logan MacDonald premieres Fountain Monumental, a series of 20-foot-tall images situated within the new Bentway Staging Grounds public space pilot. MacDonald re-imagines the original shoreline of Lake Ontario and invites us to consider the unique history of our city’s waterways while also imagining a decolonial future that prioritizes ecological preservation.
Nuit Blanche, September 23 with performances at 10pm, 11pm, 12am, 1am
A companion to his installation at The Bentway, Leeroy New’s The Aliens of Manila is a set of sculptural costumes made from locally-sourced discarded plastics. At first glance eye-catching and whimsical, the Aliens call attention to experiences of overseas Filipino workers as an essential, yet invisible workforce across the globe.
Sep 23, 2023 to Sep 24, 2023
During Nuit Blanche, the iconic Canada Malting Silos will be brought to life by a large-scale projection by Mark Dorf that reflects on the changing nature of both the building and the city at large. As this historic property transforms into a new civic and cultural landmark, The Bentway and the City of Toronto have teamed up to demonstrate the creative potential of this unique canvas.
Sep 23, 2023 to Sep 24, 2023
Located underneath the Gardiner Expressway, and across from The Bentway’s new public space pilot, Staging Grounds, Concord presents xo, a new work created by Nathan Whitford of Urban Visuals. Widely recognized as a symbol of affection, xo unfolds between the Gardiner columns, displayed in epic scale for all to behold and engage with.
Sep 23, 2023 to Sep 24, 2023
Step inside an immersive installation that reuses upcycled plastics to explore the possibilities of inflatable architecture, circular design, and the role waste plays in the larger Gardiner ecosystem. Experience a snapshot of our shared consumer habits transformed in a unique gathering space, with a mesmerizing soundscape by MONEYPHONE.
Until Sep 24, 2023
Beyond Concrete brings together artists, architects, botanists, and neighbours to explore the nature of the Gardiner Expressway. Discover a uniquely urban ecosystem – where human-made infrastructure intertwines with resilient flora and fauna – at a summer of free artworks, events, and celebrations.
Neighbourhood Nuit Location Map
partners and special thanks
- Waterfront BIA
- Balsam Foundation
- Government of Canada
- City of Toronto
- Canada Council for the Arts
- Knight Foundation
- CityPlace and Fort York BIA
- RBC Foundation
- Toronto Foundation