Garry Hoy

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Three of the Toronto-Dominion Centre's towers: (left to right) the Ernst & Young Tower, TD Bank Tower, and TD North Tower. Hoy fell from the TD Bank Tower (known at the time[citation needed] as the Toronto Dominion Bank Tower).

Garry Hoy (January 1, 1955 – July 9, 1993) was a lawyer for the law firm of Holden Day Wilson in Toronto notorious for how he died. In an attempt to prove to a group of prospective articling students that the glass windows of the Toronto-Dominion Centre were unbreakable, Hoy threw himself at a glass wall on the 24th storey and fell to his death after the window frame gave way.[1]

Garry Hoy
Born January 1, 1955
Died (aged 38)

Death[edit]

Garry Hoy was a respected corporate and securities law specialist in Toronto. He was also a professional engineer, having completed his engineering degree before studying law.[2]

While giving a tour of the Toronto-Dominion Centre to a group of articling students, Hoy attempted to demonstrate the strength of the structure's window glass by slamming himself into a window. He had apparently performed this stunt many times in the past, having previously bounced harmlessly off the glass. However, in this instance the force of Hoy slamming into the window forced the window from its frame, causing the intact window and Hoy to fall from the building. The event occurred in a small conference room adjacent to a boardroom where a reception was being held for new articling students.

Structural engineer Bob Greer was quoted by the Toronto Star as saying "I don’t know of any building code in the world that would allow a 160-pound (72.5 kg) man to run up against a glass and withstand it."[3]

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.[4]

In popular culture[edit]

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 some details changed.

For his unusual death, Hoy was recognized with a Darwin Award in 1996.[5] His unusual death was also re-enacted by Joseph Fiennes in the 2006 movie The Darwin Awards.

The incident is also recounted in Philip Slayton's Bay Street: A Novel.[6]

This unusual way to die was recreated in the third episode of the first season of the television series 1000 Ways to Die. Also recreated on the Television show "Curious And Unusual Deaths" on Discovery Investigation channel.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mikkelson, Barbara; Mikkelson, David P. (21 January 2007). "Through a Glass, Quickly". Snopes. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
  2. ^ "FACT CHECK: Man Dies Demonstrating Window's Strength". Snopes. 3 November 2000. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  3. ^ Metzger, Patrick (3 January 2013). "Toronto Urban Legends: The Leaping Lawyer of Bay Street". Torontoist. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  4. ^ McNish, Jaquie (14 March 2007). "Law firm Goodman and Carr shutting down". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 8 September 2011.
  5. ^ Mikkelson, Barbara; Mikkelson, David P. (1996). "1996 Darwin Awards: Lawyer Aloft". Darwin Awards. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
  6. ^ Slayton, Philip (2014). Bay Street: A Novel. Oblonsky Editions. ISBN 9780993638909.