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

Update: Power restored in West Kootenay, still out in Ymir

PHOTOS: FortisBC crews are working to fix power outages

Trail family rallies for Ronald McDonald House

“We always described it as our oasis in the middle of the desert.”

Update: Suspect in Montrose gas station stabbing new to the area

Police say the 30-year-old suspect stabbed a Montrose gas station employee

RDKB launches survey to address housing needs in the district

Communities in the district include Trail, Grand Forks, Rossland and Fruitvale

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Most Read