Grand Prix du Canada
A world-class event that brings together the best professional race-car drivers in the sport today!
Three Days in June
As Montreal as a two-cheek kiss, the Grand Prix of Canada has become an annual event that attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists to the city and brings in millions of dollars in revenue to businesses across the Island for three beautiful days in June. Although the Grand Prix has been staged in Canada since 1967 – with both Toronto and Mont Tremblant alternating as hosts – the prestigious event has been held in Montreal every year since 1978 with the exception of 1987 when the Canadian leg of the F1 was cancelled due to technical problems with the race circuit. This was only the second time since 1967 that there had been no Canadian stopover on the Formula 1 schedule, and the Grand Prix returned to Montreal the following year as a resounding success, with Team McLaren’s Ayrton Senna da Silva taking top honours.
Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
A world-class event that brings together the best professional race-car drivers in the sport today, the Montreal Grand Prix is held at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Named after the late Gilles Villeneuve – father of Formula 1 championship driver Jacques Villeneuve – the Circuit Ile-Notre-Dame was officially renamed the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve by the City of Montreal in 1982 just two weeks after the tragic death of Canada’s first-ever F1 driver. And for all you history buffs out there, it is interesting to note that of the twenty-seven F1 drivers who have won the world championship title, fourteen of them have also won the Canadian Grand Prix on their road to glory, including Michael Schumacher and Nelson Piquet!
Grand Prix Fever
In 2003, Montreal came very close to losing its coveted spot on the world’s stage as the only Canadian stopover on the Formula 1 calendar. In August 2003, it was announced by Normand Legault, the director-general of the Canadian Grand Prix, that the 2004 edition of the race would be cancelled due to Canadian laws forbidding tobacco advertising on the race cars. The spot was almost handed over to Belgium instead. Stunned F1 enthusiasts were left scratching their heads - Bernie Ecclestone, President of the F1 Circuit, had insisted that Canada's F-1 race would take place as scheduled in 2004 in an interview with Radio-Canada just days before Legault’s shocking announcement. With Montreal-area merchants up in arms about the potential for lost revenue that they would incur as a result of losing the race, intense negotiations involving the F1 confirmed that the Montreal Grand Prix was here to stay. As Grand Prix fever continues to hold this city under its spell for three more days in June, Montrealers can rest assured that their city’s favourite pastime will not be upstaged any time soon.