GT-39: Get Ready for a Whole Lot of Fun!

Photo for GT-39: Get Ready for a Whole Lot of Fun!

GT-39 in Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, Ontario, is going to be an incredible experience that you certainly won’t want to miss. We’re planning a great assortment of activities for the five day event that’ll provide fun for everyone.

Monday is when most folks will arrive, pick up their registration packages, and get settled in. If this is your first GT, you’ll want to attend the First Timers' Reception on Monday afternoon where you’ll get a chance to meet the NAMGAR Board members. Everyone is then invited to the Welcome/Orientation Reception where you’ll catch up with old friends, enjoy some pizza, and get additional information about the goings-on for the rest of the GT.

Houses of ParliamentTuesday is See Ottawa Day. The programmed activities begin with a trip downtown to visit Parliament Hill, the seat of Canada’s Federal Government. You can watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony, take a tour of the Parliament Buildings, and photograph yourself in front of the iconic Peace Tower. The tour is free, however we do need to have a rough count of numbers ahead of time, so please be sure to indicate when you register if you plan to participate in the activities on The Hill. The National War Memorial is within easy walking distance of Parliament Hill. Also close by, the ByWard Market is one of Canada’s oldest outdoor farmers markets where you can spend time exploring and enjoying a taste of Ottawa.

You’ll want to make sure that you’re back at the hotel shortly after lunch to take part in The Capital Tour. Participants will head out in procession on a 60 to 90 minute tour through Ottawa along some of the cities scenic roadways. The tour will take you past many landmarks and points of interest. Each car in the procession will receive a printed route guide that details every turn and provides interesting facts about the points of interest along the route. Ottawa MG Club members’ vehicles will be interspersed in the procession to ensure that nobody gets lost. The Capital Tour promises to be quite a spectacle. You’ll enjoy seeing some of Ottawa’s beauty from the seat of your car and the route will allow many Ottawa residents to enjoy the beauty of the procession of classic British cars. Please indicate when registering if you intend to participate in The Capital Tour so that we can plan accordingly.

Ottawa River QueenDon your favorite red and white clothing because Tuesday also features the Red-and-White Ottawa River Dinner Cruise. For your comfort and enjoyment, air conditioned coaches will pick us up at the hotel and whisk us off for an evening of fun and entertainment aboard the Ottawa River Queen. The evening will feature a delicious buffet dinner, followed by music and dancing, all while enjoying a cruise along the Ottawa River.

Ottawa Science & Technology MuseumWednesday morning features the GT-39 Car Show on the grounds of the Canada Museum of Science and Technology. Without letting too much out of the bag ahead of time, we plan to have some special guests and displays at the show for your enjoyment. Interested GT-39 registrants can visit the museum during the show. The open, visible, and public nature of the museum grounds provides a perfect opportunity for the general public to view and enjoy the cars while they’re on display at the car show.

Wednesday afternoon will feature an Ottawa themed Funkhana that promises to be quite exciting. GT-39 attendees will have an opportunity to do some on-your-own sightseeing. You could choose to visit one of several national museums in Ottawa, tour the Royal Canadian Mounted Police stables, chill out at a nearby park on the Rideau River, select one of our suggested driving tours, or return to explore one of the locations you passed during Tuesday's Capital Tour.

Ottawa ByWard MarketDinner on Wednesday will be on your own. We’ll provide several options near the hotel or venture down to the ByWard Market where restaurant choices abound. After dinner, weather permitting, come enjoy the nostalgia of ‘Drive-In’ Movie Night. Sadly, there are no drive-in theatres left in Ottawa so we’ll create our own in the parking lot. You’ll need an FM radio; either in-car or a small battery operated portable will do fine.

Thursday is Rallye and Tech Day at GT-39. The morning begins with the Ottawa Valley Rallye. Scheduled to last roughly two to three hours, the rallye will take you and your navigator on an interesting jaunt through the countryside to the east of Ottawa. The technical program on Thursday afternoon will feature an assortment of tech sessions, highlighted by the Safety-Fast Safety Inspection. Steve Hayes, a qualified UK MOT inspector and proprietor of Classic Automotive Repair, will provide under hood and under chassis inspections for a pre-selected group of GT-39 attendees cars.

For those looking for a change of pace, we’ll also run several activities of a non-technical nature on Thursday with topics including Zumba, travelling with your mobile device, and a craft making activity. Thursday evening is cocktails, followed by the GT Awards Banquet. The GT banquet, gala event of the week, is always a great time and you’ll definitely want to attend.

Friday morning we will bid farewell at breakfast as many folks prefer an early start to their trip home. For anyone wanting to extend their stay in Ottawa an extra day, the 10th annual All British Car Day takes place in Ottawa on Saturday, July 19th. ABCD is not part of GT-39, but may be of interest to many British car enthusiasts. Please indicate when registering for GT-39 if you’ll be staying for ABCD so that we can provide expected numbers to the event organizers.

A reminder that if you’re travelling to Canada from the United States, proper travel documents will be needed to prove your citizenship when crossing the border. A passport is recommended, but either a NEXUS card or an Enhanced Drivers License is an acceptable alternative. Whichever you choose, make sure that it’s valid beyond July, 2014 and if not, apply for a replacement. Passport applications can take several weeks for approval.

Registration for GT-39 should be open by mid-January, 2014. Click here to download a copy of the GT-39 Registration Form. Please print clearly and follow the instructions on the form when filling it in. You can register online from the GT-39 website - online registration opens mid-January, 2014. To ensure that your regalia items will fit properly, be sure to carefully check sizing information on the GT-39 website prior to placing your order.

Reservations for accommodation at the host hotel, the Courtyard by Marriott Ottawa East, can be made online by following the link on the Accommodations page of the GT-39 website. If you prefer, call the hotel toll free at 888-236-2427 or locally at 613-288-2173 and quote “NAMGAR GT-39 2014” (group code NGG). The group rate is $149 CDN per night for standard king or queen rooms and includes breakfast each morning during your stay. This rate is available for reservations made until June 13, 2014. For anyone wanting to arrive early or stay late, the group rate is also available for several days prior to and following GT-39.

As always, be sure to visit the GT-39 website regularly to keep up to date on the latest GT information. General comments or questions about Ottawa or GT-39 can be emailed to the Host Committee. Questions concerning registration should be emailed to the Registration Team. There’s certainly a whole lot of fun in store for everyone at GT-39, so start making your arrangements today. Planning to be in Ottawa in July 2014 is definitely A Capital Idea. 

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Last updated on January 20, 2014.