Next year's Formula E race to be held at St. Laurent Technoparc?

There's been a suggestion that the much-maligned Formula E race will be moved out of downtown Montreal next year, and over to St. Laurent's Technoparc.

During the election campaign, Valerie Plante insisted the race, which the city is committed to for at least two more years, would be moved out of the downtown core to the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, where it wouldn't be a bother to residents and local merchants.

Moving the race to the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, however, would hinder planned track renovations — a pledge made by the city to Formula 1's bosses as a condition for keeping that race in Montreal for another decade.

Since becoming mayor, Plante hasn't made any decisions about the future of the Formula E race, but St. Laurent borough mayor Alan DeSousa says the idea of moving the race to the Technoparc is just that — an idea.

"It's kind of strange, because no one has heard about it," DeSousa said. "It seems to be a trial balloon."

He says no one from the city has approached him, or any members of his staff, about the idea of moving the race to the Technoparc — a location nestled between Trudeau airport and the Trans-Canada Highway.

DeSousa suggests there are plenty of questions surrounding moving the event out of the city centre, to a place that's decidedly off the beaten path.

"Many of these events are there to stimulate activity in the downtown area, whether it's restaurants, hotels, and so on and so forth," DeSousa says. "Would the sponsors be happy? Would public transit be easy and you'd be able to facilitate people coming to this event? What would be the impact in the community of putting up the barriers, and taking up the barriers?"

DeSousa suggests this is just the first of many trial balloons we'll hear about the site of next summer's Formula E race.