Canada, DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, Formula One, Montreal, Photography, Sports

Montreal Grand Prix 2019

Leonard Cohen looks down on the Crescent Street mayhem

The 2019 version of the Canadian Grand Prix arrived with the first summer-like weather and a slew of tourists. An evening stroll through the downtown core was somewhat of a chore with so many people packed into closed streets.

Getting started on Thursday
Maybe next year we can get the other half of this new fountain!

All photos ©DCMontreal 2019

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Canada, DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, driving, Formula One, Montreal, Opinion, Quebec

Montreal: Race Cars and Traffic Cones

This weekend marks the unofficial kick-off of Montreal’s tourist season as the Formula One circus rolls into town. Hundreds of thousands of race fans descend upon the city wearing F1 garb, driving expensive sports cars and spending wads and wads of money. Bring it on!

During an average F1 weekend the traffic situation in Montreal is absurd, but this year promises to be even more ridiculous due to massive sections of downtown being closed for work. Add to this the traditional closing of several streets to accommodate stages and various events and you have a recipe for traffic mayhem.

One of the long-term traffic situations that has just been introduced involves work being carried out to redo the entrance to a Metro/Train station. Fortunately this is not downtown, but close enough to cause trouble.

The entrance is just part of the project, the main goal is to build an underground passageway between the transit hub and a large, recently opened, “super” hospital. The hospital, or hospitals, are located about a nine-iron from the Metro station, but currently to get from one to the other requires a circuitous trek.

Needless to say the hospital campus was not built overnight. Did no one, during the planning and construction, think it may have been a good idea to connect these two entities? Montreal is a city that has been the subject of much tourism bumf regarding our Underground City. The city has a labyrinth of subterranean shopping concourses that provide easy, warm, and dry access to what appears to be several million shoe stores, yet it was not deemed important to connect a health campus to public transit.

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Canada, DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, driving, F1, Formula One, Montreal, Opinion, Sports, Wordpress

Making the Canadian F1 Grand Prix More Montreal

Canadian F1 Grand Prix - Practice

Although the race is ten months off, work is now being carried out on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve to bring it up to Formula 1 standards. The annual Canadian Grand Prix is an important Montreal event bringing tourists from around the world. Yes, it does tend to be loud, but the noise of the cars is often drowned out by the sound of cash registers.

…to suggest to the powers that be at F1 headquarters several small tweaks that would, I believe, go a long way to having the race reflect Montreal more accurately.

While making major alterations to the track and paddock, I thought it would be the ideal time to suggest to the powers that be at F1 headquarters several small tweaks that would, I believe, go a long way to having the race reflect Montreal more accurately.

I suggest that at various points during the race groups of cyclists be released onto the track. Going, of course, in the wrong direction and, as the drivers weave their way among them, the cyclists will be instructed to swear and make obscene gestures at them.

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In addition to flag-waving marshals, who will be clad in camo pants, F1 tracks also have safety signage indicating, for instance, the braking distance leading to a sharp turn. To make this a Montreal-like experience for the drivers, several of these signs should be located behind tree branches or overgrown hedges making them virtually impossible to see until passing them when it is too late.

As the Grand Prix is run on a Sunday, the teams should be presented with a list of those sections of the track that are closed for the weekend…detours will be indicated by Montreal’s ubiquitous orange cones.

Over the last few years, Montrealers have grown used to the late-weekly reports informing us which streets, highways or bridges will be closed for the weekend. As the Grand Prix is run on a Sunday, the teams should be presented with a list of those sections of the track that are closed for the weekend. Not to worry, detours will be indicated by Montreal’s ubiquitous orange cones.

Formula 1 pit-crews are famous for being able to change four tires and make minor repairs to the cars in the blink of an eye. They are going to need to be even faster. When cars enter the pit lane and arrive at the team garage where they would have once stopped if ever so briefly, they will find BIXI stands or several red-bagged parking meters illustrating that no one, not even the best race car drivers in the world, can find a parking spot in Montreal.

… they will find BIXI stands or several red-bagged parking meters illustrating that no one, not even the best race car drivers in the world, can find a parking spot in Montreal.

Lastly, as the race reaches the three-quarter point, some of the drivers may be getting hungry. This problem is solved by the arrival of several Montreal food trucks along the straightaway. Appropriate given F1 drivers are possibly the only people who can afford the prices charged by these mobile eateries.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Advertising, F1, Formula One, History, Humor, Montreal, Nostalgia, Sports

If I buy a Jaguar automobile, I want it to look like a Jaguar automobile

It’s all about cars this weekend as the Formula 1 circus comes to Montreal. I am sometimes taken aback by the design of modern cars. If I were in the market for an upscale automobile (I’m not … it will take significantly more advertising on dcmontreal.wordpress.com before that happens), for instance a Jaguar, I sure would want my car to be instantly recognized as upscale. Having paid through the nose I want people to say “Wow, great looking Jaguar”, not “Oh my God, that car in front of us is a Jaguar, looks just like a hundred other cars”!

I want people to say “Wow, great looking Jaguar”, not “Oh my God, that car in front of us is a Jaguar, looks just like a hundred other cars”!

For instance the 2013 Jaguar XJ V6 pictured below has a sticker price, or as they used to say on The Price is Right, a manufacturer’s suggested retail price MSRP starting at $72,300. the “starting at” is of utmost importance; if you want any options, maybe a steering wheel or doors, you may be paying significantly more.

Jag 2013 XJ V6

Don’t get me wrong, I understand fully that a look inside the car or under the hood will immediately confirm one is a high-end, luxury sports car while the other is a good quality, affordable sedan.

The Hyundai Sonata below has several models, the most expensive of which starts at $31,399, with the same option caveats of course.

Hyundai_Sonata

 

Don’t get me wrong, I understand fully that a look inside the car or under the hood will immediately confirm one is a high-end, luxury sports car while the other is a good quality, affordable sedan.

I guess for my money I’d want a Jaguar to look like a Jaguar. Something along the lines of the 1973 XKE below. Now don’t even get me started on the Lincoln Continental!

Jag 1973 XKE

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Advertising, Canada, F1, Humor, Montreal, News, Photography, Sports

Montreal Grand Prix: Not for the camera shy

Who can take your picture where, and what can they do with it?

GrandPrix2013

Today the annual Formula 1 circus rolls into Montreal for a weekend of extravagance.  This event belches exhaust fumes into our air and cash into our hotels, restaurants and stores. Some estimates put the revenue for the weekend at upwards of $100 million; that’s worth coughing for a few days.

This event belches exhaust fumes into our air and cash into our hotels, restaurants and stores

HowardHughes

Howard Hughes blocks camera

If you are planning to take in any of the events, and are a bit camera shy, you may want to bear in mind the following. I noticed the signs for the first time last year, they were posted on the barriers that are erected to close Crescent Street for the festivities (as people often lean on these barriers the signs aren’t terribly visible, but they’re there and I think that’s what matters). I suspect they are on all similar entry points to F1 events in the city. The signs weren’t prominent, nor were they particularly impressive in design, looking like a last minute addition, they were printed on 8.5 X 11 paper.  But the message is what matters; the signs explained, in both French and English, that by entering this F1 site you agreed to potentially being photographed and that said photos may be used commercially.

… by entering this F1 site you agreed to potentially being photographed and that said photos may be used commercially

I’m no lawyer, but I think the F1 folks are covering their ass by posting in advance lest anyone complain later when they show up in a shot used to promote F1 or any of its sponsors in a magazine or on a poster. So it all boils down to one thing: if you don’t want to risk having your picture taken and used you’d best not pass beyond the barriers.

There are numerous websites regarding what one can and can’t photograph. Photorights.org, a UK based site states the following:

You can’t take my photo without permission’. Oh yes you can, usually. Point to the CCTV cameras and wave, they never asked either. Of course it is perfectly understandable that individuals may feel singled out and perhaps intimidated, frightened or angry not to be in control, but it’s not a legal point.

The website Ambientlight has a more Canadian take on the laws of photography, including those of Quebec that would directly affect the Montreal Grand prix:

In Quebec, the Quebec Human Rights Code, Chapter 1, 5, grants all humans the right to their private life. For photography, this broadly-worded right allows each individual person in Quebec control over the use of their image (meaning, a photo of them). This was recently upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada in a case (Aubrey v. Edition Vice-Versa Inc.) where a photographer published a photo of an individual in public, without the subject’s permission. The image was nothing special, it was taken from a public place of a person in public, and did not injure their reputation. However, the Supreme Court of Canada said that the photographer should not have published the photo without the permission of the person photographed, and ruled in the favour of the subject of the photo. They did note that there are exceptions for newsworthy events, people who are in the public eye, like politicians or celebrities, or if the person was incidental to the photo, and not the main subject(s).

If you’re one of those who puts their hands up to block themselves and yells “Get that camera out of my face” at photographers, you’re out of luck at the Grand Prix

If you’re one of those who puts their hands up to block themselves and yells “Get that camera out of my face” at photographers, you’re out of luck at the Grand Prix. I don’t imagine the signs count as model release forms, given you don’t sign them, but the Grand Prix is a newsworthy and photographer friendly event. Even crowd scenes can potentially land you in trouble, so make sure that really is your wife/husband you’re holding hands with when the flash goes off! You have been warned! Of course you could always chance it and, should you be photographed and should those photos be used, sue the Formula one folks. But I have a hunch they may be able to afford some fine lawyers!

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Montreal, Sports

NASCAR in Montreal

Jacques Boissinot/THE CANADIAN PRESS

This weekend the NASCAR circus hits Montreal. Not exactly the same as Formula 1, but loud, fast, exciting and – perhaps most importantly – tourist dollar injecting!

This year’s event features a large number of Canadian drivers including Jacques Villeneuve, Patrick Carpentier, and Alex Tagliani.

While the race will no doubt be hard fought, I think it would give the Quebec drivers an edge if the race were moved from the smooth surface of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve to the streets of Montreal and the potholes, construction cones and half-buried tram tracks were left as they are!! Quebecers are more than familiar with driving under these conditions.

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Montreal, Quebec student strike

Students strip in protest of Formula 1 in Montreal

Picture: AFP

The circus that is Formula 1 racing has arrived in Montreal for its annual visit and injection of about $100 million into the local economy.  The  fears that the current student protests would have a negative effect on the event have, so far, been quelled – all the students did was get naked!! Now Montreal can offer not only a world class Grand Prix, but flocks of naked students marching and banging pots – as reported in Australian media. What’s not to like. One can only hope that a more radical element does not decide to do something potentially dangerous at the track on race day.

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Montreal, Quebec student strike, Sports

Quebec students and Formula 1

Buckminster Fuller Geodesic Dome, Montreal fro...

Buckminster Fuller Geodesic Dome, Montreal from stands of 2006 Canadian Grand Prix (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This isn’t the kind of news coverage any city wants to get: Canadian Grand Prix ‘open doors’ day scrapped amid fear of protests in Montreal

If the protesting students want free tuition, that money will have to come from somewhere. Some will come from increased taxation, but other money will come from outside investment. Therefore why would students want to hinder an event that generates between $80 and $100 million a year in investment in hotels, bars and restaurants, all of which pay tax? The students have stated that they will be visible during the Grand Prix activities, but to cause any kind of disturbance would be counter-productive. I think organizers have acted prematurely in cancelling the Open Doors event.

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Quebec student strike, Sports

Montreal Grand Prix and Protesting Students

Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix 2010

Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix 2010 (Photo credit: pdbreen)

There are 32 days until the Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix in Montreal. The recently proposed solution to the ongoing student strike/boycott appears to be heading for defeat as students around the province vote on it.

So we may face a situation where  tens of thousands of tourists descend upon Montreal and pour millions of dollars into the city’s (and the province’s) economy. In addition, however they also will form a great international audience for the students’ cause.  It will be interesting to see if no solution has been arrived at by the weekend of June 8 – 10 what the students do.

They could take advantage of the “audience” to bring their case to an international forum by protesting peacefully or they could shoot themselves in the foot by resorting to violent tactics. Ideally the two sides can come to an agreement before the race.

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