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

Video: Enraged man terrifies staff and customers at Blind Bay restaurant

Video on Facebook shows the man hurling profanity at workers during the dinner rush on Aug. 7.

Opening night lineup for online Roots & Blues festival released

The first night of the festival on Aug. 14 will be stacked with favourites from previous years

EDITORIAL: Managing wildfires

Wildfires have the potential to cause significant damage within our province

Floating concert to shake Shuswap Lake

Pair of bands booked to play floating concert at the Sea Store on Sept. 5

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

North Okanagan ranch needs support to stay afloat

Founded in 1867, a fundraiser has been launched for the Historic O’Keefe Ranch

Pup stolen from Vernon temporary shelter reunited with owner

Nicola Sanders says her son’s puppy was ‘overjoyed’ to see her owner again

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Number of Kelowna-linked COVID-19 cases grows to 159

Interior Health reported four new cases region-wide on Friday, 18 remain active

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Most Read