Presented by Degree
Grand Prix Weekend in Montreal traditionally falls on the second week of June, about a week before the official start of summer. Last year was a bit of an oddity in terms of weather because it was cool and raining but usually a smoldering heat is blanketing the city during the festivities. In addition to the actual temperature, other annoyances such as the massive crowds or gridlocked streets can cause people to lose their cool. We thought we’d put together a few tips on how to stay cool and how to keep your cool when attending the Montreal Grand Prix and some of the surrounding festivities.
Crescent Street F1 Festival
For almost two decades, the Crescent Street F1 festival is the place to be in downtown Montreal starting Thursday at noon. Here you will find various vendors, show cars and booths lining the street all the way from St-Catherine to Sherbrooke streets. There is a massive concert stage right in the middle of the festivities and the street itself is transformed into a pedestrian walkway. Police do a great job at controlling the crowd at the intersections but If you don’t want to get bogged down stick to the sidewalks which are reserved for faster moving foot traffic.
The festival is put on by the Crescent Street Merchants Association to draw in tourists which it does in a big fashion every year. Crescent is known for its spectacular restaurants, bars, lounges and dance clubs so if the temperature outside is too hot, you won’t have any trouble finding a spot to have a cold drink.
Pit Stop Challenge
The Pit Stop challenge is considered the main attraction of the event, receiving the most media attention. Throughout the three days, consumers, celebrities and media personalities alike will be invited to test their tire changing skills on a race car branded Degree. It’s a fully turnkey operation on a dedicated stage with a dedicated MC.
Passers-by will also have the chance to try industry leading VR technology and top-of-the-line racing game accessories which will immerse them in a world so real, they’ll think they’re competing in Sunday’s F1 Race.
Monkland Street Festival
If visiting the downtown core isn’t quite your thing, check out the Monkland Street Festival a few kilometers away in Monkland Village. This event is very similar to the Crescent street festival with live entertainment, a car show and street vendors. Foot traffic can be heavy at times but the local flavor of the crowd and festivities is unique and relaxing.
Peel Street is usually reserved for some of the high end exotic car clubs. Whether it’s Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini or classic cars, there is always something interesting going on here. Crowds are often lighter as the main bulk of the traffic is on Crescent.
Not to be outdone by any of the other street festivals, the main (our local term for this hot spot) is closed between Sherbrooke Street and Pine Avenue for four days to celebrate Canada’s Grand Prix. This festival is filled with unique street-art-flavored festivities in addition to the obligatory car show. Don’t forget that the main is also Montreal’s nightclub hub and there is usually no shortage of celebrities to be found partying it up.
The Race Itself
The race takes place over three days at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Île Notre Dame. Friday is for practice sessions, Saturday is for qualifying and Sunday is the big day. You can drive there but honestly the best mode of transportation is the Metro. Park somewhere downtown and grab a fifteen minute ride to the island. It’ll make life easier when the race is over and you’re not stuck in hours of traffic.
Check For Road Work
Since this is Montreal and it’ll be close to summer, road work will most certainly hamper your drive in and out of the city. Montreal just happens to be demolishing the Turcot yards which is the main highway artery in and out of the city. Check the province’s construction website to find out if there will be any street or highway closings before you leave and plan accordingly.