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, 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.
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?!
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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 exact Airport Parkway route (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, 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. 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.
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.
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!