By Carla Warrilow Posted October 4, 2011, 2:15 PM EDT
This year’s centerpiece, Flightpath Toronto, was part of Zone B and took up Nathan Phillips Square outside City Hall. Inviting art-goers to reimagine the city, artists Usman Haque and Natalie Jeremijenko created a new form of public transportation that had people ride a zipline between two sets of truss towers. Guests lined up—for more than two hours—to attend “Flightschool” and fly over the crowd below. A complex laser show kept guests entertained during the long intervals between flights.
Other exhibition highlights included A Brief History of Rebellion, where Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was played 144 times by live bands. In Commerce Court, artists Tibi Tibi Neuspiel and Geoffrey Pugen recreated Björn Borg and John McEnroe's riveting tennis match during the 1980 Wimbledon final in a piece dubbed The Tie-Break. In Queens Park, visitors watched a CGI video called The Feast of Trimalchio on a 360-degree screen.
As the festival has grown, complaints about Nuit Blanche have revolved around infrastructure, and common grumblings this year included large crowds, slow lines, and infrequent streetcars and buses, despite newly added services like more stops with all-night subway service and late-night GO Train service. While Scotiabank signed on as a five-year lead sponsor last year, there are some concerns about the fate of Nuit Blanche in the face of future budget cuts. The city paid for 23 percent of this year's $2.3 million dollar cost.