We’re only a few days away from one of Montreal’s biggest events: The Canadian Grand Prix, which draws in people from all around the world for three days to watch the Formula One races.
Held in Canada since 1961, it’s been hosted by Montreal for the last 38 years, with a dedicated race track, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, built specifically for this event on the Ïle Notre-Dame. In honor of the races, Montreal dons its festive garb for a whole week, featuring fairs, live shows, sports car exhibits, parades and much, much more. To best enjoy this event, book your tickets and accommodation well in advance as everything sells out very quickly. If you already happen to have your accommodation and passes for the weekend, you’re essentially set and ready to discover everything Montreal has to offer.
Things to do during the Grand Prix besides watching the races:
- Crescent Street Grand Prix Festival: Crescent, a busy street in downtown Montreal, is closed off each year during the Grand Prix between Sherbrooke and Sainte-Catherine and becomes a free space for enthusiasts to celebrate their love of the F1. This year, from June 9 to June 12, expect to find a constant stream of live performances by Canadian bands, driver appearances, racing simulators, car displays, etc. Also a hub for night life, it’s definitely not something you want to miss if you’re looking to have some fun.
- F1 Old Montreal: If you want to combine a typical tourist experience with all the glitz and fun of the Grand Prix, look no further than the Old Port, Montreal’s beautifully preserved historic area right by the waterfront. From June 9 to 11, the Old Port will turn part of Saint-Paul street West between Saint-Nicolas and Evans-Court into an F1 Green Zone, a veritable treasure trove of exciting activities, with free food and massages, yoga, booths for different local businesses, alcohol tastings and lots of opportunities to discover Montreal staples. The Old Port is also a fabulous place to enjoy some of the city’s best terraces and fabulous views.
- Little Italy Grand Prix Street Fair: Looking for something a bit quieter and more quaint? Little Italy is a picturesque neighborhood just north of the Plateau which comes to life each year during the F1, featuring an exhibition of various vintage cars, fun kiosks and live performances from June 10 to 12 on Saint-Laurent between Saint-Zotique and Jean-Talon. Also a great place to check out the local cuisine and take a peek at the Marché Jean-Talon, one of Montreal’s largest outdoor produce markets.
What will you be doing during the Grand Prix? Whatever you plan, Montreal won’t be running out of options for amazing entertainment anytime soon!