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

Home loss ends season for Sicamous Eagles

A defeat at the hands of the 100 Mile House Wranglers on Feb. 22 was the Eagles’ last outing.

PHOTOS: PeeWee Silverbacks finish season with 22 game win streak

The team has gone undefeated since November last year

Word on the street: What is your favourite pie-related memory?

With the 24th-annual Best of the Shuswap Pie Baking Contest taking place… Continue reading

Fiery collision involving truck closes Highway 1 at Three Valley Gap

Drivers should expect major delays and congestion; estimated time of re-opening is 2 p.m.

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

Kelowna Firefighters douse suspicious hedge fire

A 30’ section of cedar hedge burned prompting an RCMP investigation.

Kelowna RCMP make arrest in fatal stabbing of 16-year-old Elijah Beauregard

An 18-year-old woman is in police custody facing a manslughter charge.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Most Read