10 reasons to attend the Canadian Grand Prix!
Going to a live Formula 1® event is something special! Every F1 event is individually run and managed so each event truly does have its own character and atmosphere.
Because of this, different people will find they are attracted to, and enjoy different events for different reasons. So here are 10 things we loved when we attended the
#1 The atmosphere
The precinct is full of happy go lucky Canadians, celebrating the beginning of summer! Everyone is happy to be there and the crowds are very friendly.
There are many passionate F1 fans in attendance who want to see a good race and fortunately, they have a great track that delivers on most years. The venue itself, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, also adds to the atmosphere, being in a beautifully kept park which gives you plenty of shade and a nice walk between races (just don't forget to pack some comfortable shoes!).
#2 It’s relatively easy getting to & from the track
The Canadian F1 is very popular among locals and travellers alike. As you enter the train stations and see the crowds, your heart sinks as you think 'uuugggh, this is going to take forever'.
However ... the traffic moves (rather quickly), there are plenty of trains and public transport, and unsurprisingly for locals, people actually listen to security helping the traffic flow.
It doesn’t matter where you’re staying in the city, there are lots of train stations and public transport options around and while we aren’t promising that you can get there in 5 minutes, it’s not a headache and endless hours of waiting. There is some walking involved, so again, don't forget your comfortable walking shoes!
#3 Variety of grandstand options
Whilst some of the cheaper grandstands (and general admission) do suffer from a lack of elevation (which exacerbates the issue of the obtrusive fencing), there are many good views to be had. There are options for the budget conscious, and a few of the mid-range grandstands offer exceptional views. There is also a family grandstand with a surprisingly good view, and offers children 15 and under free entry when accompanied by an adult.
#4 Family friendly
Travelling with babies and kids isn’t a worry at all - with the big park there is lots of room to run around. The family grandstand means that you aren’t having to pay full price for each child and because you can BYO esky (more about that below), you can easily bring in snacks, drinks and milk for the littlies.
Getting to and from the track isn’t tough either, even with the large crowds. Security have roped off sections for the elderly, disabled and parents where they actively call you over, and friendly crowds happily make way to let you through. Please be aware that not all Metro stations have elevators, so travelling with a small, foldable stroller is recommended as you will be doing a lot of going up and down stairs and escalators!
#5 It’s actually affordable
As far as Grand Prix’s go, you can do the Canadian F1 without spending a fortune. Take away the cost of flights, which varies for everybody, and the weekend itself can be done on a relative budget.
Grandstand tickets are on the cheaper end of the spectrum (actually the 5th cheapest on the calendar in 2018) and you don’t have to stay in downtown Montreal. There are plenty of options outside of the downtown area that are steps away from the metro, making it easy to get to and from the track.
You can pack a picnic and soft drinks(think delicious baguettes, cheeses and cold meats mmmmmm) so you don’t have to pay inflated event prices for food or drink either. Please note that from 2020, you will no longer be able to bring your own alcoholic beverages into the event.
Eating and drinking outside of the main CBD area is also affordable, and if you really want to save some money, get a place with a kitchen and just eat in. Every morning on the way to the track we enjoyed a 75c croissant and $1.50 coffee for breakfast, and for dinner, due to 'Festival Season', street vendors had a huge array of beautiful street food readily available. You don’t have to do it in a 5-star hotel to have a great time and enjoy yourself immensely.
#6 Off track & after hours entertainmentThe likes of Crescent street and Peel street at the end of each day are packed with live music, F1 fans, plenty of supercar eye candy and an atmosphere you wouldn’t believe that goes through until the wee hours of the morning.
There is more than enough to keep you busy after the track has shut down for the night.
#7 Tack a holiday on
Not everybody can simply disregard the cost of flights to get to and from an F1 event for the weekend, and for many, Canada isn’t just up the road. So why not make a holiday out of it? You’re right next door to New York, Niagara Falls and a tonne of other beautiful destinations.
Montreal has an international airport making it easy to get to America or Mexico or keep it domestic and visit somewhere else in Canada. You’re already there, so make the most of it while you can.
#8 The city
Montreal should already be on everyone’s bucket list. It’s a beautiful city that has incredible architecture, delicious food, and great walks, parks and attractions.
#9 The time of year
If that facts that Montreal is an incredible city isn't enough, the F1 event generally falls on the official start to summer weekend. This is a weekend absolutely packed with festivals around the city.
Depending on the dates of the Grand Prix, these may include:
- Francos de Montreal, a French music festival nearly 70 indoor shows and 180 free outdoor shows downtown. with stages set up right around downtown Montreal
- The Mural Festival, an annual international street art festival with over 3km of street shut down with street vendors, music, murals, pop up bars, restaurants and more.
- Festival ELEKTRA, where Technology and art collide to celebrate digital arts with audiovisual performances, live music, innovative design, gaming and interactive art.
- Montreal Folk Festival on the Canal, a weekend of folk, roots, traditional and bluegrass music on an outdoor site overlooking Montréal’s historic Lachine Canal waterway
#10 It sells out every year
If this doesn’t tell you that the weekend is an incredible experience, we aren’t sure what will!