A new milestone for The Garage Blog

When I began “working” in automotive media in 2001, I hoped that it might lead to my exit from the car industry. It has taken a long time, but between photography and freelance writing for publications like Autoblog Canada, that has gradually become a reality.

The next step is a big piece of the puzzle, as I have just been accepted as a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada, otherwise known as AJAC. This likely won’t change things around The Garage Blog too much, other than a new logo beneath my name on our about page.

For new readers, this is an indication that we are a publication that can be trusted and takes our responsibility to our readers seriously. We have always endeavored to bring our readers quality content and reviews that mean something to car buyers and we will continue to do so.

The Garage visits AJAC TestFest

As part of their annual TestFest event, the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada invited a group of journalists who are not AJAC members to Niagara on the Lake yesterday to get a taste of how the organization chooses the Canadian Car of the Year. Some of us that took the short flight from downtown Toronto were auto journos in our own right, while others working in other niches.

The day began with an short lesson in the history and methodology behind TestFest and then the group moved on to the fun important stuff: the cars. First up, representatives from each auto manufacturer gave a short talk about their electric vehicle programs and then the guests partnered up with an AJAC member to spend the rest of the day testing cars.

The guest journos had their choice of all of the new models and were able to drive whatever car they wanted on the same drive route that AJAC members use to evaluate each car. SUV’s were able to do a short tour of an off road test track to see how they coped with the mud after a week of rain. Some of us were able to ride shotgun for a few laps of the high speed vehicle dynamics track that was set up on the NOTL airport surface.
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AJAC picks Canadian Car of the Year awards for 2011

Last week the members of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada gathered at the Niagara Drive Centre for TestFest. The annual event allows journalists to compare completely new or redeveloped models back to back over a 4 day period. The vehicles are driven on a road route, race track and even an off road section for the trucks. With 70 of Canada’s top automotive journalists and a strict scoring process, the AJAC Canadian Car of the Year awards are highly respected across North America.

General Motors was the big winner this year, capturing 3 categories, while Volkswagen and Ford each scored 2 class wins. The winners are:
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