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

Just Posted

Route 26 reinstated from Skidegate to Alliford Bay

B.C. Ferries service will begin later in January

On the Wing: Christmas bird count reports, part 1

Haida Gwaii’s bird count report for Port Clements and Rose Spit

Queen Charlotte housing assessment jumps 31 per cent

Port Clements and Masset also see increases, according to B.C. Assessment

Pipeline at centre of B.C. conflict is creating jobs for First Nations: chief

All 20 elected band councils along the Coastal GasLink pipeline route have signed benefits agreements

Power saving measures in effect on Haida Gwaii

B.C. Hydro asks residents to conserve electricity to avoid outages during cold weather

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

B.C. pair ordered to pay $55,000 for oil tank discovered four years after selling home

Judge says defendants breached contract, despite being unaware of tank until basement flooded

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Oil and gas industry applauds top court’s dismissal of B.C.’s Trans Mountain case

The high court’s ruling Thursday removes one of the remaining obstacles for the project

Most Read