Next year's Formula E race could have new location, Coderre says

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre has raised the prospect that next year's edition of the controversial Formula E race could have a different location.

Construction on new Maison Radio-Canada could force city to find a different spot for the race

The Montreal Formula ePrix electric car race caused significant disruptions to traffic, residents and merchants in the area. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press )

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre has raised the prospect that next year's edition of the controversial Formula E race could have a different location.

This year's edition of the race, held last month, took place on the streets around Maison Radio-Canada, angering dozens of residents and merchants in the east-end neighbourhood.

Race organizers used both parking lots of the Radio-Canada building as staging area for tents, equipment and bleachers.
The Formula E circuit is shown in yellow. (City of Montreal)

But shortly after the race ended construction began in the eastern lot on a new building for Maison Radio-Canada.

"Now that the building has been sold, and there will be construction, we have to reconsider: Can we have the same circuit?" Coderre said Thursday.

"We are in the process of looking at options. We are taking into account that we won't have the same access to Radio-Canada parking lots."

'Can't happen to us again' 

Critics of the race, which cost the city at least $25 million to host, have questioned why it wasn't held on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, where Montreal's annual F1 race is held.  

Residents who were affected by this year's race said they're worried the mayor will simply move next year's edition to another neighbourhood, inconveniencing a whole new set of residents.  

"We don't want to see that event shifting to yet another part of the city," said Heidi Miller, who organized an online opposition group to the race called Formule Citoyenne. 

"It can't happen to us again and it can't happen to other Montrealers."

The new Radio-Canada building will be east of the old one. (CBC)

According to Miller, having the race in her neighbourhood was more than a mere inconvenience.

"People did not sleep at night from the beginning of the construction until the end of the event," she said.

Coderre said at a post-mortem July 31 that the Formula E race was worth it, despite the apparent low turnout and complaints.

The city has committed to holding the race again in 2018 and 2019.


  • An earlier version of this story said the group led by Heidi Miller wants the Formula E race cancelled. In fact, Miller says her group does not yet have a position on cancelling the event.
    Aug 18, 2017 8:06 AM ET