Circuit Trois-Rivières

August 20, 2019

One of the reasons I planned an overnight stop in Trois Rivières, Québec was that it is part way between Québec City and Ottawa, Ontario, my next multi-day stop.  The MAIN reason I planned an overnight stop there was so I’d have time to check out the race track.

For those of you who don’t know, I am a race fan – primarily NASCAR stock cars, though I enjoy other forms of racing as well.  For many years I have known that many major series (other than the NASCAR series I enjoy), at one time or another, have held, or continue to hold, races at “Three Rivers”.  Let’s talk about that name first….

My grasp of the French language isn’t very firm but even I know that Trois Rivières means Three Rivers.  Unlike Pittsburgh PA’s Three Rivers Stadium, which in named for the confluence of three rivers in that town, Three Rivers in Quèbec is named for only one – the Saint-Maurice River which has three “mouths” where it meets the St. Lawrence River:


(Photo credit:

The main downtown part of the city (where I ate dinner, anyway) is left of the river as seen in the photo above.  The two bridges in the upper left corner of the photo above carry Highway 40 just north of town and the racetrack is located on the opposite side of Highway 40 from town.

Now let’s talk about the race track.  Three Rivers, as far as auto racing is concerned, is what’s known as a street course.  Unlike a formal race track, like Indy or Charlotte, which are known as “closed courses” and are used exclusively for racing, a street course is a temporary track which is run largely on normal city streets which are, obviously, closed to the public for the duration of the event.  Temporary concrete barriers and chain-link fencing is installed at various points around the track to help confine the vehicles and protect the viewing public.  Once the event is completed those barriers are taken away and the streets are once again used by the public.

Here is a map showing the current configuration of the Three Rivers Circuit:

circuit et legende_2017_NASCAR_FRA V4

(Photo credit:

I say “current configuration” because I have seen other maps showing a different, slightly longer race surface.  In the map above, the orange band represents where the cars race.  In the bottom portion of the photo you see a gray oval.  That is a permanent HORSE race track known as the Hippodrome (a Greek and/or Roman term for venue).




In researching this post I saw track configurations which included the car track encroaching on major parts of the Hippodrome, across the horse oval (which is NOT paved) as well as through the “infield,” and I am quite surprised to learn that ever was the case!

Well, I’m interested in CAR racing and given that the races were held several weeks before I was there I was now able to walk and drive on many of the areas where the cars raced.  These photos are in the order they were taken which, as it turns out, is almost the exact OPPOSITE of how the cars raced.  The cars travel counter-clockwise.  I parked in the Paddock to the left of the horse oval in the track configuration photo.





The Stop sign in the photo above is moot.  First, the cars would be going through this turn in the opposite direction.  Second, it is likely covered or removed during the event.  By the way, the white and blue car you can see below the Stop sign is a police car, not a race car.  The brick building on the right side of the second photo of this sequence is a local police substation.



The photos above were taken near the end of a normal “lap,” on the left side of the track map.  The following photos were taken near the beginning of a lap, on the right side of the track map.

Unlike a “regular” race track, cars make two 90-degree turns shortly after getting the green flag, right then left, and descend a slight hill towards this stone gate, then make a hard left turn (Turn 3)…


… and continue away from the camera up this narrow city street and on to other parts of the course (Turns 4-11):


As they descended down the straightaway towards the 3rd turn they passed the racetrack “office” on top of the hill to the right as seen below:





GP3R is the abbreviation for Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières, what the marquee event held at the track is called.

Québec City to Trois-Rivières

August 19, 2019

When I made the last post on September 12 announcing that I was taking another brief “vacation” I stated that I would resume posting in late September.  I suppose the afternoon of the last day of the month is as late as I can get….


Monday, August 19 was a travel day as I would say “au revoir” to Québec City and head southwest, ultimately to my next overnight stop in Trois Rivières.  Before leaving the city I thought about giving Parc Nationale de la Jacques-Cartier (the “National Park” that isn’t a National Park) another chance but the weather wasn’t conducive to sightseeing at elevation (foggy with a threat of rain) so I made a quick stop at the Vidéotron Centre which wasn’t far from where I had been staying for the past few nights (I could have easily walked there but was leaving town anyway so I took my car).


This entertainment facility was designed, and construction began, in 2012 and was completed three years later.  It is primarily designed for ice hockey and was built with the hope of attracting an NHL franchise, or perhaps enticing the League to add an expansion team.  So far that goal (pun intended) remains unfulfilled.   In the meantime it serves as the home of the Quebec Major Junior Ice Hockey “Remparts,” as well as hosting music and other events.

If you have ever attended an event at this facility and felt there was something unusual about it your suspicions are not without merit.  It was specifically designed with a very steep “bowl” of seats to make guests feel as if they were over the ice.  As a result of the ever-increasing seat pitch the “nosebleed” seats literally have a safety rail in front of every row of seats – to satisfy local safety regulations and I suppose to keep rowdy fans from toppling down onto the ice.  I would have thought arm restraints might have served that purpose as well but then they couldn’t enjoy their beer and would be even rowdier.

Next I drove down to the St. Lawrence River to head southwest.  There was a park quite a ways out of town from which I hoped to capture a photo of the Québec City skyline but the tower I climbed at that park wasn’t high enough to provide an adequate vantage point (even without the aforementioned poor visibility).  I continued southwest on a major highway before exiting in the little town of Sainte Anne de la Pérade.  First stop there was the Information Center:


I am as puzzled as you are by the name on the building, though I can explain the fish.

While I was in the parking lot talking to some folks about to enjoy a picnic lunch I noticed a man examining (perhaps admiring) my license plate.  We discussed where I was from and what I was doing in Canada which inevitably led to a discussion of the blog.  He then informed me that this was the home of the world-famous “Tommy Cod” Fishing Tournament.  People from all over come to ice-fish for tomcod fish.  Silly me assumed that the name on the building had something to do with that but I just ran it through my “Reverso” app and found that Thématique means “subject” in French.  I wouldn’t have thought that Center Subject would have anything at all to do with ice fishing….

Before speaking with the various folks in the parking lot I had walked up towards the road to take a photo of the church I saw as I drove towards the Visitor Center:


After getting the bulk of my conversations out of the way for the day I headed back out to the main highway, then drove north to Parc National de la Mauricie, which I had confirmed was, in fact, a Canadian National Park.  There were several good sized lakes at the Park and one long, winding river.




I saw this frog to the left of the dock as I walked down to the lake:



And another, smaller one had jumped out into the water as I approached, presumably to avoid capture:


Deeper in the Park I drove through a series of switchbacks in the road and when I finally stopped as an overlook was challenged by a sign there to determine if I knew which direction I was now looking (honest, officer, I’ve only had two drinks…).  The correct answer was southeast and I was released on my own recognizance.




As I exited the Park I stopped at another one of the lakes to take another photo, this time free from interrogation.