In an attempt to prove to a group of prospective articling students that the glass in the Toronto-Dominion Centre was unbreakable, Hoy threw himself through a glass wall on the 24th story and fell to his death after the window frame gave way. He had apparently performed this stunt many times in the past, having previously bounced harmlessly off the glass. The event occurred in a small boardroom adjacent to a boardroom where a reception was being held for new articling students. Hoy was a noted and respected corporate and securities law specialist in Toronto. He was a professional engineer, having completed his engineering degree before studying law. He was a highly respected philanthropic member of the Toronto Asian community.
Toronto Police Service Detective Mike Stowell reported that:
"At this Friday night party, Mr. Hoy did it again and bounced off the glass the first time. However, he did it a second time and this time crashed right through the middle of the glass."
In another interview, the firm's spokesman mentioned that the glass in fact did not break, but popped out of its frame, leading to Hoy's fatal plunge.
Hoy's death contributed to the closing of Holden Day Wilson in 1996, at the time the largest law firm closure in Canada.
In popular culture
Hoy's experience was recreated by MythBusters in the episode "Vacuum Toilet, Biscuit Bazooka, Leaping Lawyer," and was featured in numerous other television shows, often with details changed for privacy reasons.
Ben Stiller pulls a similar stunt in the movie Permanent Midnight, jumping into a skyscraper window while high on heroin. In Stiller's case however, the glass holds.
This unusual way to die was recreated in the third episode of the first season of the television series 1000 Ways to Die.
- Mikkelson, Barbara; Mikkelson, David P. (21 January 2007). "Through a Glass, Quickly". Snopes. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
- McNish, Jaquie (14 March 2007). "Law firm Goodman and Carr shutting down". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2011-09-08.
- Mikkelson, Barbara; Mikkelson, David P. (1996). "1996 Darwin Awards: Lawyer Aloft". Darwin Awards. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
- Slayton, Philip (2014). Bay Street: A Novel. Oblonsky Editions. ISBN 9780993638909.