Garry Hoy

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Garry Hoy (1955 – 9 July 1993) was a lawyer for the law firm of Holden Day Wilson in Toronto. He is best known for his death by accidental autodefenestration. In an attempt to prove to a group of prospective articling students that the glass in the Toronto-Dominion Centre was unbreakable, he threw himself through a glass wall on the 24th story and fell to his death after the window frame gave way.[1] 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.

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 (called the Toronto Dominion Bank Tower in 1993).

In the words of Toronto Police Service Detective Mike Stowell:

"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.[2]

In popular culture[edit]

Hoy's experience was recreated by MythBusters in the episode "Vacuum Toilet, Biscuit Bazooka, Leaping Lawyer".

For his unusual death, Hoy was recognized with a Darwin Award in 1996.[3]

Although the name, date, and location were changed to protect his privacy, this death was featured in the American television show 1000 Ways to Die on Spike TV. To make the circumstances of his death seem more salacious, the segment depicted the lawyer as an egotistical womanizer who was demonstrating his trick to impress a female visitor.[4]

Although his name was changed to protect his privacy, his death was featured on the Discovery Fit and Health television show Curious and Unusual Deaths.

A scene mimicking the circumstances of Hoy's death was featured in the television comedy show Billable Hours in the second season episode entitled "Birthday Suits".

Garry Hoy and his story are depicted on the IDHD television show Curious and Unusual Crimes where he is renamed Peter Lei for privacy reasons.


  1. ^ Barbara Mikkelson; David P. Mikkelson (21 January 2007). "Through a Glass, Quickly". Snopes. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  2. ^ Jaquie McNish (14 March 2007). "Law firm Goodman and Carr shutting down". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2011-09-08. 
  3. ^ Barbara Mikkelson; David P. Mikkelson (1996). "1996 Darwin Awards: Lawyer Alof". Darwin Awards. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  4. ^ 1000 Ways To Die: '#64 Habeas Corpse' (video). Spike Digital Entertainment. 2009. Retrieved 5 September 2011.