The elf village, a Winnipeg Christmas tale

The tale of a tiny elf village that's popped up in a quiet Winnipeg neighbourhood — and how it's changed the way the people behind it see Christmas.

What started as some holiday fun for Jen de Delley has grown into an annual River Heights tradition

An elf village is amusing the residents of River Heights this holiday season. (Tyson Koschik/CBC )

Our producer Cory Funk tells the tale of a tiny elf village that's popped up in a quiet Winnipeg neighbourhood — in the form of a poem.

The elf village started in 2006, when Jen de Delley built a shoe shop for kicks.

With old Sam Katz signs she found in the trash, she built that small structure. 

It took just a flash. 

When her boyfriend, Victor Diduch, came home from the gym, his whole face lit up with a big Christmas grin. 

They recently agreed to a decorative yuletide duel, and now they knew how to make friends look a fool. 

Each year the village brings new structures, like this candy shop. (Tyson Koschik/CBC )

The couple went on to build many more things, like a pub and jewel shop that sells Christmas rings. 

Soon more structures went up, year over year, to show off their prowess and spread Christmas cheer.  

They built intricate scenes beneath every ceiling.  

She told CBC News, "They all hold a lot of meaning." 

The village includes intricate details behind the walls of its homes. (Tyson Koschik/CBC )

The clinic pays homage to their recovery, post-crash. 

The school went up because a little girl asked.

The village began to attract some attention, from neighbours impressed by their festive inventions. 

Head to Baked 'Elfspectations' for all your Christmas dessert needs. (Tyson Koschik/CBC )

"It's become a tradition for us," said de Delley, citing unity. 

"It's become a tradition for a lot of people in the community." 

No village is complete without its post office. (Tyson Koschik/CBC )

On a cold winter's night, through their window they peek. 

Folks are there by the dozens. It's elf village they seek.  

It's free of charge. They don't make a fuss. 

The village includes several "businesses", including a movie theatre, candy shop, and record store. (Tyson Koschik/CBC )

"It's not a competition anymore, you know, it's actually meaningful to us."

Now their front lawn is filled with people. Who knew it? 

The elf village is located on Lockwood Street in River Heights. (Tyson Koschik/CBC )

"We have a family out here, and that's why we do it." 

So drop on by — just be kind if you could — to the little elf village they've built on Lockwood. 

Watch the elf village come to life below: 

A magical elf village has popped up on a quiet Winnipeg street bringing joy to the neighbourhood. 1:25


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.