Night Moves

Jamie, over at the always wonderful JB’s Warehouse and Curio Emporium, has posted another of his YouTube finds — this time, a clip from Night Moves, the late night psychogeographic wander through Toronto that Global used to run during the 1980s. Jamie writes:

The premise was simple: the camera stood in for a walker or driver roaming around Toronto at night, with light jazz as mood music. Dad showed me an article about the show in the newspaper, but I only saw it a couple of times – our reception for Global wasn’t so hot and it usually on way too late for me to catch (I’m sure the few times were when I was still perky after catching whatever crappy movie Elvira, Mistress of the Dark showed that week).

This was all before I moved to Toronto, but had Global had the balls to export Toronto to the rest of Canada and run this in Windsor and beyond, (a city that suffers a Calgary-style condition of Western Alienation and Toronto envy-disdain) I’d have been even more obsessed with this city. What a magnificent — and tender — record of this city twenty-some years ago. If anybody at Global reads this, please rerun these late at night, the way CP24 does their old newscasts. I suspect you helped a lot of people love Toronto back then.


  1. Night Moves, Night Ride, and Night Walk, were directed by esteemed director Bill Elliot who also is a long time director of the Santa Claus Parade and the Red Green Show.

    I emailed him this link and maybe he will drop by and offer a few details.

    It was possibly the best original programming they ever did.

  2. Night Moves made me fall in love with Toronto. I’ve been trying to track down clips of it for ages!

  3. Wow this took me back a few years. I often wondered what my stedi-cam operator is doing these days. I think David Crone did a wonderful job. Every scene we shot, just developed as we approached it. The locations were pre-scouted, as we needed as much available light as we could find. The camera was an older Sony with a Saticon tube rather than the chip cameras of today. The saticon tube always left a kind of comet trail behind the light source as the camera moved past it. There were actually three shows produced for this time slot. “Night Ride” and “Night Walk” were two – 1 hour shows and “Night Moves” was a 1/2 hour show shot a couple of months later. We seemed to have an audience for the music, and most people up at that time of the night / morning always told me it was a very relaxing way to end their day.
    It’s funny, when I shot these shows, my oldest son Daniel was about three, and he developed into a very good drummer. In high school, he put together a few bands and is still playing in and around the Toronto Area. My youngest son Brian was a new born at the time, and just signed a Pro contract with the Ottawa Senators. He’s a goalie playing in Binghampton NY.

  4. I thought I was the only one who remembered this show! When you were half asleep in the early morning, it was a very soothing, fascinating & almost dreamlike experience. You felt like you were floating through the city, exploring it. I didn’t know it was from the 80’s – somehow it seems more recent. Anyway, great work, Bill!

  5. I watched these shows religiously from 1987 until it’s demise in I think 1994. I was always a nighthawk so I would enjoy all 3 of these shows: Night Moves, Night Walk and Night Ride. It’s a joy to see how the city used to be over 20 years ago (just as I used to enjoy it). I really would love for Global to start playing these shows again. Oh yeah, I thought I was the only Torontonian that remembered this show! I’m glad that I am not alone. Great memories from 3-6 am on channel 3.

    P.S. Please Global, re-air these shows!


  6. I’m so happy I found this page… right this minute I’m watching a DVD-R of “Night Walk” that I transferred from a VHS I made in 1987. You’re right– this show made me fall in love with Toronto. Born and raised in a small town, I wanted to move to the city after seeing this… and I eventually did. It’s nice to still put this on occasionally and remind myself of the magic.

  7. In response to the last comment, how many episodes do you have of these shows? There were 3 shows: Night Ride, Night Moves and Night Walk but there were a total of like 10-12 ten minute episodes. I have been trying to contact people to see if I can get the complete collection that was continuosly aired on Global from 1986-1993. There are only 4 episodes on youtube. If possible can I buy a copy of your dvd-r? This of course would be for my own personal viewing pleasure.

  8. I was a young student who lived outside of Rochester, NY in 1986-1987, and I remember watching these shows on Canadian TV.

    I still remember them after all these years, and I think I developed an interest in jazz from them.

    Bravo for posting.

  9. So glad to have found this thread! I remember watching Night Ride in my parents’ basement when I couldn’t sleep, forever hoping the car-cam would veer into my neighbourhood.

    I always found Night Ride, Night Walk and Night Moves supremely relaxing, and when viewed again today, they offer a really interesting snapshot of Toronto in the late 80s, one whose skyline and urban landscape has been pretty much supplanted by condo development and whatnot.

    Needless to say, I’d be thrilled to find out how to obtain a DVD version of any Night Walk, Night Ride or Night Moves episodes. Purely for my own enjoyment, of course!

  10. I was looking for this for weeks, I made the mistake of thinking CityTV aired it but it wasn’t it was Global, I use to watch this all the time I loved it,I had a baby that never slept at night in 1986 so my time was passed feeding him and watching this all night!! They should bring it back to T.V>

  11. I had a lot of sleepless nights as a 6-10 year-old. When I’d wake up in the middle of the night, I’d turn on Global, and usually Night Ride or Night Walk was on. I was transfixed by the cinematography and the jazz music was very soothing.

    I agree…get it back on TV, or at the very least, put it on DVD. Does anybody have more than what’s posted on YouTube? I’d love to get my hands on a full episode.

  12. That show was brilliant! Kudos to Bill Elliot and his crew! It was always one of those guilty pleasures that I would find myself staying up for Friday nights just so I could watch the whole sequence. The music was deliciously phenomenal and though I didn’t recognize it at the time (I was in my early teens at the time), featured some pretty heavy duty Canadian jazz artists like Guido Basso and Archie Alleyne. So actually I can go ahead and enjoy it without the guilt, it has more artistic merit than perhaps any of us realized.
    I would love to get a hold of a copy of either the show or even the soundtrack.
    Please bring it back, Global!

  13. My son was a new born back when this was on the air so when he kept me up all night I use to watch this , I loved the music, I wonder who the singer was???

  14. I actually have all the necessary equipment to remake this series today (1080p camera, steadicam, etc..) Wonder if they’d sue me lol.

    I’ve really been contemplating doing it… it’s not only amazing to look back at the original 80s footage, but imagine how awesome it’d be to have a modern day version of this!

    What do you guys think?

  15. DO IT. If we were a film production company, we’d produce it. But we’re not, and would have no idea what we’re doing.

    Would be fun to do split screen, then and now.

Comments are closed.