During the 1960s the country's Grand Prix had two homes: alternating between Mosport Park (in the English-speaking part of the country) and Mont-Tremblant (in French speaking Quebec). By 1970, however, Mont-Tremblant was deemed too dangerous and the race was moved full time to Mosport Park.
In 1977 the French Canadians, motivated by the success of local hero Gilles Villeneuve, decided to create a race track. Building a new circuit simply wasn't feasible, however, owing to both time and financial constraints. Their solution was simple and effective. Taking the Île Notre-Dame, they connected all of the island's roads and made a course.
After $2m was spent upgrading the circuit to Formula One standards, the first race was held in October 1978. Gilles Villeneuve, who was yet to win a Formula One race, took a memorable victory at his home Grand Prix. Following his tragic death in 1982, the track was renamed the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in his honour.