you can avoid Bear Cannister requirements. Go to www.sierrawildbear.gov and look at the interactive map.
For my trip, I'll camp near Little Pete Meadow Night 1, then near MTR night 2, then near VVR night three (resupply there) then near Duck Creek night 4 (just before Ansel Adams restrictions start). After that, I'll have to camp at designated camping spots with bear boxes (Red's Meadow, Agnew Meadows, Vogelsang, Tuolomne). Plenty in that area so I'll have some options. I might do a side trip up the "Crossing" (Minaret Lake over to Lake Ediza), but in any case, yah, with planning you can avoid bear cannisters on the North Side of the JMT.
(Supposedly, it can be done in the SEKI area, but might require a special permit and more planning.)