Off-Track Activities – Canadian Grand Prix

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Your guide to off-track activities in Montreal during the Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix weekend. This year’s race takes place on June 6-9, 2019.

If you have read our Accommodation guide for the Canadian Grand Prix, you will know that we recommend staying in the downtown area of Montreal if you can afford it. It’s easy to get to the track from downtown using the Metro and the center is one big party zone during Grand Prix weekend. Montreal has a well-deserved reputation for the quality of its dining and bar scene, and summer is the best time to experience it.

Crescent Street

Join your fellow F1 fans on Crescent Street, which gets closed off on Grand Prix weekend and is the place to go to eat, drink and party with F1-themed displays and demonstrations and a stage with DJs and live music. There’s plenty of pubs, clubs and restaurants to choose from as well. In recent years, the street party has also extended to nearby de Maisonneuve street; click here for this year’s program of events on Crescent Street.

Montreal Downtown

  • The main commercial street in downtown Montreal, St Catherine Street, runs through the heart of the business and shopping centre of the city, parallel to Montreal’s vast Underground City. A massive complex of interconnected spaces, both below ground and above. the Underground City comprises offices, shopping centres, hotels, apartments, universities and no less than seven metro stations
  • Quartier des Spectacles, Montreal’s entertainment district, is the home of many of the city’s summer festivals – the area includes over 30 performance venues including the Place de Arts cultural complex. The Latin Quarter is worth checking out for its theatres, cafes, boutiques and nightlife.
  • The eastern end of St Catherine Street is where you will find the city’s Gay Village – during the summer months, this part of the street is closed to traffic and turns into an open air market that’s also popular for alfresco drinking and dining.
  • Some of the hippest areas of Montreal can be found near Parc Mont Royal in the Plateau and Mile End districts. The Plateau is a working-class area being transformed by its artistic and bohemian artist residents, whilst Mile End is the hub of Montreal’s excellent music scene. In these areas, head to St Laurent Street and St Denis Street for diverse nightlife, trendy restaurants (the best Italian food in the city is in Little Italy) and live music.
  • The Montreal Fringe Festival (May 27 – June 16) is in full swing on Grand Prix weekend in the Plateau-Mont-Royal area, with theater, comedy, dance, music & visual art performances at various venues.

OLD MONTREAL

To see Old Montreal, take the orange Metro line to Place d’Armes. This historic area, including the Old Port next to the river, has some interesting landmarks including the neogothic Notre-Dame Basilica. Take a walk down St Paul Street, known for its cafes and art galleries or visit the Montreal Science Centre. Montreal’s Chinatown area is also nearby.

PARC MONT ROYAL

Montreal has some wonderful parks and green spaces, and Parc Mont Royal is the best. This vast park, designed by the same landscape architect responsible for Central Park in New York, is spread over 470 hectares. Head up to the elevated parts of the park to get a wonderful view of the city below.

HABITAT 67

If you are a fan of modernist architecture, be sure to check out Habitat 67, a housing community designed for Expo 67. From Habitat 67’s location next to the St Lawrence river, it’s possible to cross the Concorde bridge to the man made islands which comprise Parc Jean Drapeau and the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

The Montreal Biosphere is also situated within the area. The large dome building, which you’ll frequently spot when watching the Canadian Grand Prix on TV, houses an environment museum which you can enter for $15 CAD. 

Why not hire a BIXI bike (see Getting Around section) and explore the park on the Thursday before the race, when you can also participate in the pitlane walk for fans. More information in our Trackside guide.

More ideas for your Montreal trip

  • Take the Adirondack Train. The full ten hour train journey between Montreal and New York offers some fantastic scenery, and is a very attractive opportunity for those staying in Montreal for longer than just the race weekend. You can find more information about the Adirondack Train journey here.
  • Visit the Montmorency Falls. A little further afield from the center of Montreal are the impressive Montmorency Falls. The falls are 84 meters high, and are situated on the boundary between the borough of Beauport, and Boischatel. There’s a suspension bridge over the waterfall, as well as a cable car ride which offers brilliant views of the scenery.
  • Take a trip on the Montreal Observation Wheel. The 60 meter tall ferris wheel is open every day from 10am to 11pm and has stunning views of the city. Admission is $25 CAD for adults.
  • Fore more information, visit the Tourisme-Montreal website. You can also find the best restaurants in Montreal on RestoMontreal and CultMontreal is a good source for upcoming cultural events in the city. 

What’s your favorite thing to do in Montreal? Leave a comment below!

April 28, 2019

Trackside – 2019 Canadian Grand Prix

Useful information to help you plan your weekend at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, including the full on-track schedule. The 2019 Canadian Grand Prix takes place on June 6-9.

February 8, 2019

Budget Planner – 2019 Canadian Grand Prix

Use our budget planner to help plan the cost of your trip to the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.

January 7, 2019

Off-Track Activities – Canadian Grand Prix

The best things to do in Montreal away from the track on Canadian GP weekend. This year’s race takes place on June 6-9, 2019.

December 14, 2018

Race Facts – Canadian Grand Prix

Learn about the history of the Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.

November 30, 2018

Getting There & Around – Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal

The best ways to get to Montreal for the 2019 Canadian Grand Prix on June 7-9, plus advice on getting to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and around the city.

November 14, 2018

Travel Basics – Canadian Grand Prix

Start planning your trip to Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix on June 6-9, 2019.

August 23, 2018

Tickets – 2019 Canadian Grand Prix

Where to watch the action at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Your guide on buying tickets for the Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix in Montreal.

August 21, 2018

Accommodation – 2019 Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal

From hostels to luxury hotels, we’ve chosen the best places to stay in Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix.

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About the Author ()

Andrew Balfour is the Founder and Editor of F1Destinations.com. He originally hails from Adelaide, where he went to his first F1 race way back in 1987. He's been resident in Europe for almost 15 years and travels regularly to F1 races around the world.

Comments (2)

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  1. Steph says:

    We have tickets for Platine Stand, but most maps do not show this stand, any information please

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