Montreal’s Grand Prix weekend is two weeks away and local organizers and merchants are already getting giddy thinking about the lucrative event.
“It is worth almost $80 million to Montreal and Quebec — it is good for all businesses,” explained restaurateur Alain Creton, a member of the Peel Street Merchants’ Association.
The longstanding parties and events on Crescent Street and Peel Street will continue as per tradition. But this year, for the 50th anniversary of the Canadian Grand Prix, F1 organizers will also hold an event in Dorchester Square.
Screens will show the the qualifying races on Saturday and also the Sunday race for family and fans who can’t make it to the track to see the action firsthand.
“We want the experience to help initiate people to F1 racing and basically transform them into fans so that they want to see the real experience,” explained event partner Vincent Drolet.
The weekend will also play host to a display showcasing the history of the Grand Prix with pictures from the Gilles Villeneuve exhibit, as well as car simulators, food trucks and family-friendly activities.
The F1 event in Dorchester Square will be blocks away from the usual Peel and Crescent parties.
“We held the first Grand Prix festival on Crescent 18 years ago — that other groups are copying us is a sign of our success, and we’re happy about that,” Crescent Grand Prix Festival spokesperson Paul Vaillancourt said.
As tourists pour into the city for Grand Prix weekend, any hint of concern about the new festivities in Dorchester Square have been overshadowed by the event’s money-making potential.
Grand Prix festivities kick off June 7 and run until June 11. For more information, visit grandprixmontreal.com.