Architectural Wonders

The Petite Parish

If you’re planning to get married at the Living Water Wayside Chapel, you’re going to need to make some hard choices for the guest list. The self-proclaimed “smallest chapel in the world,” snuggled into the Niagara Parkway, just north of one of the world’s most magnificent waterfalls, can fit a wedding party of six people.

With a total floor space of about 78 square feet, there’s no arguing that the Living Water Wayside Chapel is tiny. Like, duck-your-head-when-you-go-inside tiny. Yet, its proud proclamation as Guiness World Record holders for the world’s smallest chapel is not without contest. In fact, it’s contested by the Guinness World Record, itself! On their website, the organization refutes the claim, stating that in fact there is “no current record holder” for the exceptionally niche title of the smallest chapel in the world.

"The Chapel is indeed open for weddings, for those among you who are prepared to apologize to your aunts and uncles who didn’t make the cut."

That hasn’t deterred the Chapel from inviting both congregation members and curiosity connoisseurs to enjoy its confines. Originally built in 1964, the Chapel is open 24/7 and offers passersby a cute photo-op or a quiet place for reflection. Once inside, visitors can find a cozy seat among its four pews. The Chapel even regularly stocks two Bibles and a guestbook for visitors to sign during their visit (revealing travelers who have visited from locales as far as China and the Philippines). 

Which is not to suggest this is just some cutesy highway attraction. The Chapel is an active place of worship, with annual services during holidays. Each year, the Faith Fellowship Christian Reformed Church hosts its outdoor Easter Sunday service at sunrise, which has drawn crowds upwards of 70 people. And it is indeed open for weddings, for those among you who are prepared to apologize to your aunts and uncles who didn’t make the cut. 

Just like its neighbor Niagara Falls, this little chapel most certainly has a powerful pull. Welcoming thousands of visitors from all over the world each year, the Living Water Wayside Chapel is a lovely place of peace and respite to all those who pass through it, or longtime locals ready to tie the knot witnessed by their closest friends, in the closest proximity. 

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