Don Taylor ran afoul of the Maple Ridge bylaws department for his Santa’s North Pole Village attraction. (Facebook photo)

Santa’s Village shut down by bylaw re-opens after visit from Maple Ridge mayor

Santa will look for new, larger location for next Christmas season

A homemade Christmas display created to benefit children with autism in Maple Ridge, which bylaw shut down earlier this week, is back in operation, after Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden went to bat for Santa.

The city’s bylaws department was being criticized as Grinches on social media, after shutting down the privately run Christmas charity.

Don Taylor runs Santa’s North Pole Village at his home at 22395 124th Ave., where he lets families have photos with Santa sitting in his sleigh, check out his model North Pole village, and get a free stuffed toy. Everything is done by donation, and proceeds go to the Chrysta Academy, which is a learning centre for children on the autism spectrum.

The city bylaws department contended he was running a business without licensing and in the wrong property zone.

But the mayor visited, and “he seemed supportive of what I’m doing,” said Taylor.

It seems the mayor gave him the Christmas gift of speaking with city staff on his behalf.

READ ALSO: Maple Ridge bylaws shuts down Santa’s Village

“I went and met with Don and his wife to see Santa Village and assess the operation for myself,” said Morden.

“The city has laws in regard to public safety and usually there’s a little more to every story. I did confer with staff and am happy to report Santa’s Village will remain open, while Mr. Taylor and staff work through the various concerns raised.”

Taylor said he found the mayor down to earth, and that he took a common sense approach.

The village typically sees four or five families per hour, and the most he has ever had is three at once, he said. There are not long lineups or parking hassles in the neighbourhood.

READ ALSO: North Pole Village in Maple Ridge to benefit children with autism

Taylor, who grows a legitimate Santa beard, said he does take money for appearances he does as Santa at parties or daycares. But the proceeds from the village go to the learning centre that has been so good for his son who is on the autism spectrum.

He said the charitable enterprise has snowballed, and now he has local business sponsors providing coffee for guests, and enough stuffed toys to fill a bedroom in his house.

He is nearly finished operating this year, open on Sunday from 5-9 p.m. and again on Dec. 27 from 4-8 p.m.

Next year he will open again, but is looking at alternative locations, with better exposure and more parking.


 


ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Vintage vehicles, costumed drivers cruise Fernie streets

Wheels in the Valley hosted their first ever Rally in the Valley event this past Saturday

Food conditioned black bear destroyed in Elk Valley

The bear was destroyed by the Conservation Officer Service on June 28

Elkford students plant trees as part of reclamation project

The students planted over 200 trees throughout the community

Elk Valley wildlife conservation projects receive funding

The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation announced $9.2 million in funding across the province

Registration opens for Fernie Writers Conference

The conference will take place from August 17-23 and will feature several accomplished authors

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Almost 99% less land in B.C. burned this year compared to 2018

2018 was the worst year on record for wildfires

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

B.C. tent camps persist as hotels, housing bought for homeless

Current estimate 40 camps, homeless counts stalled by COVID-19

VIDEO: Trio of orphaned Alberta grizzly bear cubs find new home at Vancouver zoo

The Alberta cubs’ mother was killed by hunters and would have otherwise been euthanized, zoo says

Most Read