North Saanich family told to take down popular ‘Fairy Tale Trail’ due to a complaint

North Saanich family told to take down popular 'Fairy Tale Trail' due to a complaint
WatchA North Saanich family has been asked to take down popular "Fairy Tale Trail" decorations after receiving one complaint from a neighbour.

One woodland pathway in North Saanich might not look like anything special from the outside, but there’s something magical hiding in there – a fairy tale trail.

The miniature fairyland has been created by neighbour Lorraine McKay and her grandkids. The idea came forward when COVID-19 first struck, and she could no longer take them on outings.

“Kids get worried too, we could see their anxiety,” said Lorraine. “But when they unleash their imagination, they can go to their own world that they can control and you can see where their imaginations took them.”

For months, more than 15 of Lorraine’s grandkids have intermittently been coming to the trail, creating and adding decorations to a nearly 300-metre stretch.

The further you walk, the more you see; there’s display upon display of a fairy world, filled with gnomes, fairies and mini wooden structures. It has its own general store, hotel and even its very own city council.

“I come here every day,” said granddaughter Teyauna. “I just think it brings so much joy, its just so fun, and I love that. It gets us outside.”

And creating fairytales isn’t new for Lorraine. Her daughter Sheira Leavitt said she is glad the storytelling can carry on.

“My mom raised us on fairy tales and make a magical life for us,” said Leavitt. “Shes continued that on with the grandkids, so seeing it being brought to life is absolutely delightful.”

Lorraine’s sons-in-law say it’s good for the community and the kids themselves.

“It’s been amazing because we’re always trying to get the kids to go out and explore, do things outside,” said Normand Schafer. “We don’t want to always watch movies and play games, so having them able to create some things to put along path is great. I’ve also found it’s encouraged them to get some exercise and explore.”

But the little pixie palace might be coming to an end after the city received a complaint from someone who Lorraine believes lives in the neighbourhood.

“The district received a complaint about littering on the trail,” said The District of North Saanich in a statement to CHEK News. “We spoke with the neighbours responsible for the decorations and they agreed to remove them from public land.”

According to Lorraine, even the city staff member who delivered the news was surprised at the request.

“He said, ‘You know, I think its the cutest thing I’ve ever seen, so I don’t know why we have to take it down.'”

It’s a disappointing blow for those who have spent months creating it.

“I’d be sad if they were to take it down,” said Nathaniel Leavitt, one of the grandkids. “Because I love doing these crafts and it’s really rewarding for me, seeing others come and look at all of them.”

Zakary, another young fairyland maker, says he’s worried their time and effort might be wasted if the district forces them to remove the decorations.

“We’ve put a lot of effort into it and we spent days doing some of these,” said Zakary. “It would make me really sad if we had to take it down.”

Lorraine doesn’t know who made the complaint but has moved many of the items back across her property line and next-door neighbours have done the same.

Rebecca LawrenceRebecca Lawrence

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