F1 2024 Insider's Guide No. 09 – Canada

06 Jun 24


F1 2024 Insider's Guide No. 09 – Canada

Expect plenty of noise in Montreal this weekend for hometown hero Lance Stroll as he takes to the track at the Canadian Grand Prix alongside Aston Martin Aramco Formula One® Team team-mate Fernando Alonso. Located on an island in the middle of a river, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is fast, furious, and named after Canada’s greatest F1 legend. Villeneuve won the very first Canadian Grand Prix held here in 1978 (previously hosted at other tracks) ensuring his name would go down in history. The most famous section of the track is at the final corner, the ‘Wall of Champions’, which earned its name after the 1999 Canadian Grand Prix weekend when it was the scene of crashes for Damon Hill, Jacques Villeneuve, and Michael Schumacher.

What makes Montreal such a cool city?

Montreal is supremely bike-friendly, with a classic itinerary that showcases the sights and leads you directly to the F1 track. Begin by cycling through the historic Le Vieux Montreal, now more commonly known as Old Montreal. As you travel back in Parisian time, amble down the cobbled streets and gaze upon the stained glass windows of the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal, or visit the vibrant Bonsecours Market. Continue past the iconic Farine Five Roses sign atop the flour mill and past the Habitat 67 apartments, a symbol of brutalist architecture by Moshe Safdie. Cross the mighty St Lawrence River via Pont de la Concorde, admire the surging rapids that challenged the French, and arrive on Île Sainte-Hélène within Parc Jean-Drapeau, home to the motor racing spectacle.

How to find joy in the journey?

Canada’s famous trains can take you to Quebec City with its historic architecture, French flair and Heights of Abraham battlefield memorial. In the other direction is the vast expanse of the country. One change at Toronto brings you on to the iconic VIA Canadian train which trundles west for four days through the pastures of Alberta and then up and over the Rockies. You’ll want to get out and explore the wonder of Banff and Jasper and the mountains and maybe ski at Whistler. The final section descends down to cosmopolitan Vancouver where you can enjoy lakes, beaches, and great Chinese food.

What’s new in Montreal?

The MEM (Montréal en Histoires) is more than just a city museum. Its full name - Le Centre des Mémoires Montréalaises, better conveys its mission to chronicle this magnificent city through the stories of its inhabitants. It has recently undergone expansion and refurbishment. Visitors will also appreciate the newly equipped Hyatt Place Downtown, the chic Warwick Le Crystal boutique hotel with sleek interiors, and The Vogue, a luxurious addition from the Curio Collection. This new establishment is complemented by YamaResto, a restaurant offering Asian fusion cuisine.

Where should I go next?

You won’t regret the journey south to New York’s trendiest borough, Brooklyn. On sunny days, take a dip in the McCarren Pool or visit Brighton Beach and the playful seaside at Coney Island, complete with its Nathan’s Famous hot dog stand. Overnight stays at industrial-chic newcomers like The Wythe, one of New York’s hippest hotels boasting breathtaking Manhattan views, or the boutique The Penny are highly recommended. Near the Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Time Out Market offers superb brunch options, and the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge features a rooftop pool and an eco-conscious ethos. Be sure to try the bagels in Greenpoint (and debate whether Montreal or NYC bagels reign supreme) and experience the underground parties in trendy Bushwick.

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