GPS Or Naming Fail?

The newly minted Mr. and Mrs., sharing their first dance as bride and groom.

So as I wrote yesterday, last night I attended the wedding of my friends Erin and John. And I will repeat what I wrote yesterday – the wedding was fantastic.

The most important and amazing thing about the weekend was the opportunity it afforded to be able to spend time with friends that so rarely are able to get together under one roof at the same time. It’s not for lack of want, it’s just a reality of busy schedules, family commitments, work, and the like. The fact that some of the group now live in Ottawa and Montreal also limits the time we can all spend together.

Last night, however, was a perfect opportunity for everyone to come together and celebrate something awesome. The bride of course was beautiful, and the groom, well he didn’t look too bad either.

The day wasn’t without its glitches. Fortunately, these had nothing to do with the bride or groom, and a lot to do with GPS.

Let me explain. The wedding ceremony was scheduled to take place at 3:30pm at 29 Queenston Street, Queenston, Ontario1. Matt and I left the hotel at 2:55 with the Google Map knowledge that it would take us 15-20 minutes to get to the chapel barring traffic.

Now, let me show you what Google presented to us when I asked it for directions from our hotel in Niagara falls to the address listed above:

Everything looking kosher, we set off for the church. On arrival however, we quickly realized that something was wrong. Very wrong. While we did see a church, the parking lot was empty. The time, 3:20.

I want to marry this cake. Sadly it was full of dairy evil, so I could only admire it from a distance. Stupid dairy, coming between me and my one true love.

I double checked that the address I had entered was correct. No problems there. And yet, clearly, we were not at the destination we needed to be.

What the frick Google? What the frick?

We tried to call our friends, but of course they all had their phones off or on vibrate as the ceremony was only minutes away from starting. We quickly jumped to the website to learn that the chapel shared land with the Laura Secord Homestead.

Entering the Laura Secord Homestead into Google we discovered, much to our horror, that there was in fact a town called Queenston. Google had sent us to a neighbourhood of St. Catherines known as Queenston. Strangely enough, both the town and the neighbourhood had streets named Queenston. And strangely enough, both had addresses of 29 Queenston Street. And even more amazing, the Google directions sent us to a church in both cases2.


At this point, Google informed us that we would need 22 minutes to get to where we were meant to be. As we were about to take off, we quickly identified another invitee who had made the same mistake as us. After running up to her car3, we had her follow us. She was clearly distraught and upset that we were all likely going to miss the ceremony.

The traditional Bride dances with 6 foot banana dance. So beautiful. Excuse me, I think I must have something in my eye.

On the drive there, both Matt and I discussed the probability of making it in time. It didn’t seem likely. We left the wrong address at about 3:28. Given that all weddings start late, we figured we’d have 10 minutes of grace. Assuming the wedding would last 30 minutes, and assuming all things worked out perfectly, we’d arrive at 3:50 with about 15 to 20 minutes left in the ceremony.

The good news: we arrived around 3:50. The bad news, and this came as no surprise given Erin’s organizational mastery, the wedding not only started on time, it lasted 20 minutes. We arrived seconds after the bride and groom were whisked away.

Fortunately, our friends shared in the humour of the situation4. From there, we returned to the hotel to freshen up and then head off to the reception.

As I wrote yesterday, the reception was amazing, the food was spectacular, and spending time with my friends was priceless. Thanks to Matt for driving all weekend. Thanks to Rob and Marina for getting me home today. And thanks to everyone for making last night such an awesome night.

And of course, congratulations to John and Erin.

Oh, and as for you Google Maps – I guess that you are forgiven. I mean, how are you to know that two places could have the same address and be only 22 minutes away from each other?

1 An address that will forever be etched in my memory.

2 Although technically the church we drove to was actually numbered 33. Twenty-nine Queenston was next door.

3 And likely scaring the sweet bejebus out of her.

4 Especially since Greg and Marla apparently typed in the address wrong (using road instead of street)5.

5 That error sent them to Private Eyes 2, which just so happens to be a strip club. Clearly not the typical place for a wedding ceremony.


8 Comments Add yours

  1. I would classify this as neither- but a fail on the part of the chapel, surely an establishment that caters to weddings has encountered this before and should have warned guests of the alternate address.

    1. dangillis says:

      Good point. Ah well, it was an adventure that had us laughing (most of the time).

  2. Beth says:

    OK, I *have* to know. Did you buy them the big banana?

    1. dangillis says:

      I didn’t. My friends Rob and Marina got it for them. Because really, a wedding isn’t a wedding if it doesn’t include a 6 foot stuffed banana. True story.

  3. Gillian says:

    My friend’s group of friends in St Catherines had one of those 6 foot bananas that they inherited when they moved into their apartment…it was the hit of all their parties πŸ˜›

    1. dangillis says:

      How could it not be? LOL.

  4. I remember the time Google let me down too. I had just moved into Guelph, trying to find my new home. I got down at the bus stop where Google suggested me to, and tried to figure out where my new home was. Unlike India, all homes in this neighbourhood look like clones, and for the next 30 minutes, dreary and exhausted, I had an unexpected “lovely” stroll in the neighborhood whilst dragging around a large travel bag and wearing a sack on my shoulders, cursing Google’s map developers under my breath all the time. Finally, after doing a complete round and ending up in the same place, I got the universe’s message: I wasn’t meant to find the home, it was meant to find me! A quick phone call to the kind landlord saw me in his car in the next 5 minutes and in my new home shortly thereafter πŸ™‚

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