Editor's note: Due to current circumstances, the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix 2020 has been postponed indefinitely.
The Montreal Grand Prix is huge in Canada—in fact, it's the country's most important tourist event of the year. So if you're making plans to visit Montreal to catch some Formula One auto racing, you're in good company. With hotels at 95 percent capacity during the event, race to book early. Luckily Montreal has many lodging options, but you'll especially love its luxury accommodations and boutique hotels.
Crescent Street's Canadian Grand Prix Festival has been around forever, it seems. Pit stop challenges, bubbly, scantily clad promotional staff, live shows, DJ sets, live concerts—Crescent Street is a must for Formula One fanatics. About 500,000 people show up for the strip's annual F1 Fest during the course of three days. Every day of the fest runs from roughly 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. 2020 marks the 21st anniversary of the Crescent Street Grand Prix Festival.
Promotional staff are typically dressed in slightly more elegant ensembles at this particularly upscale outdoor street event. Gawk at luxury cars and linger on the terraces of nearby restaurants such as the excellent Ferreira Café (reservations strongly recommended).
Organizers say that with as many as 400,000 people walking through the Peel Formula block party, it's best to reserve a terrace spot ahead of time if you want a guaranteed seat in the heart of the action. The festivities are located on Peel Street above Ste. Catherine Street. You can't miss it.
Weekend de Courses de la Petite Italie
This Little Italy street fest is a nice pit stop for families and tourists. Although it's removed from the downtown hubbub, it's still very much in the spirit of Formula One. It's also right near the Jean-Talon Market, a must-see farmers market in Montreal. You'll flip over the flavors and selection of foodstuff that, in some cases, you might not have known even existed. When it comes to food, Montreal can definitely compete.
Grand Prix Haunts and Hot Spots
If you want to see and be seen—even if it means dropping lots of cash—any hot-listed Old Montreal boutique hotel lounge and associated restaurant (the St. James, the W) should do the trick. Meanwhile, locales such as Time Supper Club and the Ritz-Carlton have traditional haunt status when it comes to celebrating Formula One. But Auberge St. Gabriel & Velvet Speakeasy is the place to be all weekend, especially at the Sunday closing party.
For more posh parties, try Soubois, Joverse, Flyjin, or La Champagnerie. Otherwise Scarlet Exclusive is ideal as an elegant dinner and nightlife destination. If you're into EDM clubbing action, there's New City Gas, and Pandore is good for after parties. Le Richmond features an upscale brunch on Sunday where you can catch the race live on the big screen.
Tom Brady, Jennifer Lawrence, Michelle Pfeiffer, Naomi Watts, Snoop Dogg—the Montreal Grand Prix has been celeb-studded in years past. The excitement of Formula One racing draws high-profilers from around the world, so keep your eyes peeled.