Over the next few days tens of thousands of visitors will descend upon Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix. From small Bed & Breakfast establishments to luxury hotels the city is booked solid; guests with big wallets breathing much-needed life into the local economy. Logistically, arriving isn’t the problem as race fans don’t all show up at once – mind you Friday afternoon’s rush hour won’t have a whole lot of rush in it.
Remember, the race takes place on an island with, not surprisingly, limited access
Even getting to the track on Sunday is an exercise in patience, but again not all race fans arrive at the same time, some go early while others will arrive just in time. But making your way back to the downtown area after the race can be a real nightmare. Remember, the race takes place on an island with, not surprisingly, limited access. Race organizers used to provide post-race entertainment to keep some of the people in place until later and avoid a mass exodus.
The trouble reaches its pinnacle Sunday evening when the race has been run and people are trying to get to airports, train and bus stations, or are driving back to the US hoping the wait at the border won’t be completely insane (trust me, it will be).
So someone, somewhere, with a cruel sense of humour, decided that what the Montreal F1 Sunday evening scenario needed was another event downtown … enter the Rolling Stones
So someone, somewhere, with a cruel sense of humour, decided that what the Montreal F1 Sunday evening scenario needed was another event downtown. Just as people are trying to get out, and others are trying to get in, enter the Rolling Stones. Yep, here come Mick and the boys (can they still be called boys?) on their latest tour including a gazillion trucks of equipment . You may be able to move like Jagger, you just won’t have the room!
Leave the driving to the racers and the driving rock ‘n’ roll to the Stones
So to sum up this coming Sunday: thousands of sunburnt race fans with ringing ears, impatient and cranky as all get up after the chore of getting off Ile Notre Dame are checking out of hotels and making their way to the airport while thousands of others, also with ringing ears, are making their way home after the Rolling Stones show.
You may be able to move like Jagger, you just won’t have the room!
It might just be worth missing a few hours of sleep to watch the two groups shouting at each other, not in anger, but because neither will be able to hear very well after their respective events.
In case you haven’t decided yet, if you’re coming to Montreal this weekend for either ear-splitting event, leave your car far away from the downtown area. Leave the driving to the racers and the driving rock ‘n’ roll to the Stones. The city has a great transit system, you’ll be saving yourself a big headache by using it! As for your ears, you’re on your own.
Related: Montreal City Weblog