I took and passed my G road test at the Walkley DriveTest Centre on November 4, 2019. Here are a few tips as well as the usual test route map—just sharing because it would have helped me!

Booking your G road test

Go to DriveTest and click on “Book a road test.” Enter your email address, confirm, and then enter your driver’s licence number and expiry date.

If you’re eligible for a G road test, you’ll see a calendar with dates available. Pick one and confirm.

Book a road test (confirmation)
Book a road test (confirmation)

You will get a confirmation message at the end of the session. A similar message will be sent to the email address you provided.

Book early! I booked my test on September 22 and the first available date was November 4.

I didn’t need the confirmation for the road test, but keep a digital copy handy just in case.

Parking and registering at the Walkley DriveTest centre

Park at the designated spot to the left of the building. Walkley road test 101 is to back into the spot as you will probably notice—I mean, have you ever seen a Canadian parking lot with all cars parked in reverse?!

Waiting behind the designed spots at Walkley
Waiting behind the designed spots at Walkley

Go register at the kiosk inside the centre. Enter your driver’s licence number, car licence plate and colour, then answer a few questions regarding your highway experience (number and length of highway trips). You must have enough highway experience to take the G test. Remember these numbers, the examiner will double check with you.

Get a number and go sit in your car.

Preliminary checks

The examiner will stand outside the car and ask for your driver’s licence. Then a basic vehicle check will be performed. You will have to activate the turn signal (right, left), press on the brake, honk the horn (the exact instruction was “beep beep,” I had no idea what he meant at first!) and activate the turn signals again.

Read Road Tests – Vehicle Requirements before the test to make sure the car you’re using is okay.

The examiner will take the passenger seat and explain the test briefly. You won’t be asked to do anything illegal, you should obey all traffic rules, etc. You will be asked if you’re okay to drive and if you have the required highway driving experience (this is when you may be asked again how many times you drove on highways).

I was also reminded to make it very obvious when I’m checking mirrors and blind spots.

Three-point turn and parallel parking manoeuvres

The three-point turn and parallel parking tests are both performed in the fenced area behind the test centre. Start the car and turn right.

You have plenty of space for the three-point turn.

Parallel parking can be tricky because the “car” is a block of concrete. On the plus side, there’s no other car behind you.

Walkley #1 G road test route   

After the three-point turn and parallel parking, you will leave the parking lot—it’s called a “road test,” not a “parking test” after all!

The two main components of the G road test are:

  • Merging
  • Switching lanes

There are two main test routes—according to local wisdom and my instructors, 80% of the time, you will take the one described below.

Basically:

  • If you’re told to turn left on Walkley, you’ll be taking the most common test route, the Airport Parkway.
  • If you’re told to turn right on Walkley, you’ll take the longer 417 route.

Here is the exact Airport Parkway route (a few variations in the residential neighbourhood).

This video is a great way to visualize it.

Test route steps and highlights

Turning left onto Walkley Road sounds easier than it is. Check traffic on your left and pull up straight onto the central divider. Stop, check traffic on your right and merge onto Walkley. The tricky part is this damn central divider, plus a lot of road and foot traffic (the test centre is a busy area!).

You’re going to stay on Walkley for a little while. As soon as it’s safe to do so, switch lane (the examiner won’t say anything). Keep in mind the speed limit is 50 km/hour on Walkley. There’s also a lot of traffic and many red lights.

Once you cross Bank Street, be prepared to turn left to merge onto the Airport Parkway. The examiner will remind you that the speed limit on Walkley is 80 km/hour.

You will be told to take the Hunt Club West exit. It’s right after the bridge.

Slow down. You will be asked to turn left. Before merging onto Hunt Club Road, make a full stop, check for pedestrians, and then pull forward a bit at the green line. Check for traffic—there’s a lot of it. You may have to wait until cars coming from the left have the red light.

Stay on Hunt Club Road until the examiner tells you to turn right, usually at McCarthy.

You will be in a residential neighbourhood. The speed limit is 50 km/hour, sometimes 40 km/hour. At one point in this neighbourhood, you’ll be asked to do an emergency stop (check, signal, stop parallel to the curb, turn on your hazard lights, put the car in park and set the parking brake).

You will eventually exit the residential neighbourhood and go back to Hunt Club Road.

You will be asked to turn left to take the Airport Parkway again. Wait for the green arrow.

You will exit the Airport Parking at Walkley, then drive back to the test centre. Watch out, it’s easy to miss it! Remember the bus stop right before it and the two flagpoles.

You will be asked to park behind the test centre.

All done!

The examiner said “congratulations on getting your full G licence, just go inside the test centre” and that was it.

The test lasted exactly 30 minutes.

Additional tips

Make it very obvious when you check mirrors and blind spots. Turn your head left and right every time you cross an intersection (even if you have the green light).

You will be asked to switch lanes many times on Walkley and Hunt Club.

Make sure you stay at 50 or 52 km/hour on Walkley (most cars drive much faster…).

Always use the rightmost lane. The examiner won’t tell you to change lane when you first merge onto Walkley.

Finding an instructor

If you’re going for the G road test, you should have plenty of driving experience. That said, I don’t think it’s a good idea to show up at the road test without any prep whatsoever. At the very least, take the road test a few times. It doesn’t hurt to check The Official Ministry of Transportation (MTO) Driver’s Handbook (the online version is free!).

I did a few hours of practice with an instructor before the test. I don’t drive very often and for some reason, I was very scared of the road test. I got plenty of tips and I gained confidence, so money well spent. I’ll be happy to share references if needed, just leave a comment.

I found my instructor on Kijiji and he charged $40/hour. Plenty of driving schools, many of them located around Bank Street, also offer G test packages.

After the test

Bad news—the road test was the easy part. I found the test centre super confusing and the only employee I dealt with was very rude. I swear I’m a polite Canadian and I was in a good mood after passing the test!

Basically, you’re supposed to pick up a temporary licence—good luck finding the right lineup and booth.

May the force be with you!

Temporary G licence
Temporary G licence
 

Get the latest story, cultural shock and travel pictures right in your inbox

I don't spam, promise.

I literally don't have the time to write ten stories a day.

Visited 211 times, 5 visit(s) today
Liked it? Share it!

13 Comments

  1. Martin Penwald November 22, 2019 at 9:26 pm

    >I don’t drive very often and for some reason, I was very scared of the road test.

    I drive very often and I’m still scared if I have to take a road test.
    Last time was in Québec to get my truck driving licence, and it went well even if technically I ran a red light.

    But now, I’m a rebel. Today, I went a few times on the left turning lane but kept going straight at lights. Because my load was too high to pass under the lights, so I had to zig-zag between poles.

    Reply
    1. Zhu November 23, 2019 at 1:22 am

      Oh, I wish I had seen the zig-zag manoeuvre! Where were you?

      Is the test for CMVs similar to regular road tests?

      Reply
      1. Martin Penwald November 23, 2019 at 6:15 am

        It was in Strathmore, AB.

        For CMV licence in Canada, there are 3 parts: the theorical test, the inspection of the truck before starting and driving on the road on a predefined trajectory, with backing to a dock in the middle. Like for cars, the goal is to see if you can handle the vehicule safely in trafic, and the scope is limited. Especially in Ontario where it was particularly easy to get a CMV licence. There were drivers that were incompetent¹ who still got a licence.

        ¹: incompétent as in “I-follow-GPS-indications-of-a-cheap-car-navigation-device-with-a-22meters-long-tractor-trailer”. Baaaaad idea.

        Reply
        1. Zhu November 25, 2019 at 1:18 am

          Gee, I don’t even follow GPS instruction with a car…!

          Inspections seem to be super important in your job. Every time I translate truck-related materials for a US client, you can be sure 50% of the slides are about pre-trip inspections. I guess it makes sense, you need to have a secured load and a working truck for everybody’s safety…

          Reply
          1. Martin Penwald November 25, 2019 at 1:24 pm

            It’s important to check if lights are working properly (even if the average driver doesn’t seem to know there are turning lights on their vehicule), no obvious mechanical failure, if brakes are working correctly, if load is correctly secured, vehicule’s dimensions if needed…
            But technically, it is a requirement for ALL drivers, not just commercial drivers. And private individuals have often no idea how to secure a load on their pick-up’s bed or their trailer.
            Every year, there are some big “commercial” véhicules enforcement days, and when reported on newspapers, they highlight the worst cases seen, with the underlying implication that truck drivers are all dangerous idiots. But when you read about these worst cases, it’s essentially about pick-ups with trailers owned by companies which job IS NOT cargo hauling (so, electricians, landscapers, farmers…) with major mechanical defects, overweight or very badly secured loads. That pisses me to no end.

            Dumb example : it’s a fault to drive a véhicule not knowing it’s height, but if you drive a car, it’s almost always irrelevant, but it’s a reason van rental companies put stickers on the windshield to warn people of the height of the box, because nobody cares about underpasses clearances. But it becomes important when driving commercial vehicules, and that’s probably one of the most difficult things to catch when starting driving commercial vehicules, because most of the time, there won’t be any problem, but when there is, oops…

          2. Zhu November 25, 2019 at 7:25 pm

            I guess it’s common sense, but I’m pretty sure most (car) drivers don’t check their vehicle that often and that thoroughly. It always amazes me as well when renting a car that you’re apparently expected to just… drive off. Feng usually takes a few minutes to check if everything works fine, to find basic tricks (windows, lights, etc. can be slightly different) and I’ve seen employees getting impatient.

  2. Martin Penwald November 23, 2019 at 7:20 am

    > Road Tests – Vehicle Requirements

    Are there wheels on the vehicule?
    Yes. You can proceed.
    No. It’s your bathtub.

    Reply
    1. Zhu November 25, 2019 at 1:18 am

      Ah, I was wondering why there was so much water!

      Reply
  3. Lynn November 25, 2019 at 10:17 am

    This is SUCH fabulous info! We’re hoping our oldest will take his G2 test in January and then the G is still a year after that, but already I had no idea of the stuff he’d need to do between now and then. Printing this out for him to study – and congratulations on getting your own license!

    Question out of curiosity – everywhere I go, I use my driver’s license as my main ID and it’s the first go-to thing everyone asks for. When you didn’t have one, did you carry your passport around with you?

    Reply
    1. Zhu November 25, 2019 at 7:23 pm

      Re. the driving license, I’ve always had one in Canada–G1, then the G2 I kept for waaaay too long before finally taking the G test early November. But yeah, I’ve always had it because like you said, it’s Canada #1 piece of ID. In France, we have a national ID card we use as the default piece of ID. French driver’s license are actually PAPER (not a card), less easy to take out of the wallet!

      The G2 test is very straightforward. Let me know if you have questions!

      Reply
  4. Natasha Vadsariya December 23, 2020 at 1:48 pm

    Hello,

    Thank you for the insight on G exam at the airport parkway. Do you have any advice if instructor asks to take right and go to 417?

    Due to lockdown, my G exam is moved from Brockville to Ottawa Walkley and i want to familiarize myself as they moved the exam to tomorrow.

    Regards
    Natasha

    Reply
    1. Zhu December 24, 2020 at 12:45 am

      I’m sorry I couldn’t help. I hope you passed!

      Reply
  5. Pingback: Screwed Up! Fixed It! (With a Side of “Lost in Translation”)

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *