In April of 2018 the Société du Parc Jean‑Drapeau (SPJD) made the commitment to renovate and expand the Circuit Gilles‑Villeneuve. It was essential to the Canadian Grand Prix renewal agreement in order to hold it Montreal from 2015 to 2029. Mayor Valerie Plante announced an investment of an estimated $59.9 million ($41 million from the city and $18 million from the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing) towards a project that would not only replace the aged paddocks and increase the seating capacity in the boxes from 1800 seats to 5,000, but also include the installation of pile foundations to minimize the impacts on cyclists and allow other activities to take place at the park during the event.
Not only is the project now over budget, which should come as no surprise to most people – but the upgrades and renovations that were expected to be completed by May of 2019 are behind schedule. With the Grand Prix less than a month away, many are wondering if it will be ready on time. According to a May 8th report from grandprix.com, ‘construction was delayed when unsatisfactory work was done on the paddock building roof’. City Hall maintains the work will completed in time for the race, but the new building is still under construction and most of the windows are not yet even installed – leaving reason for skepticism. Mayor Plante is expected to hold a press conference this Wednesday May 15th. The Montreal Grand Prix takes place from June 7th to 9th.