zoia chair girl instagram

Toronto mayor says Chair Girl should have gotten jail time

It really does seem like the only people pleased with Judge Mara Greene's sentence for the now-infamous "Toronto Chair Girl" are Marcella Zoia and her friends, who last night were seen in a series of Instagram stories singing, laughing, and popping bottles of champagne while shaking their literal money makers.

Toronto Mayor John Tory added his voice this morning to the chorus of people crying foul over what's been criticized as a paltry sentence for an act that could easily have killed someone.

"She should have gone to jail," said Tory to CP24 of Zoia's sentence for mischief endangering life, which was handed down Tuesday after several postponements and more than a year after the 20-year-old woman first went viral for tossing a chair from the 43rd-floor balcony of a downtown Toronto condo building over the busy Gardiner Expressway.

"She should've gone to jail for enough time to send a message to her and everyone else."

Instead of jail, the dental hygiene student and bottle service worker-turned-Instagram model will serve two years of probation and 150 hours community service. She must also submit a DNA sample and pay a fine of $2,000.

"It's not a deterrent," said Tory of Zoia's punishment. "The sentencing demonstrates a kind of out of touch aspect of the justice system we see time to time and it concerns me greatly."

Crown prosecutors had been asking Greene for a sentence of four to six months in jail followed by two years probation, in addition to 240 hours of community service, alcohol abuse counselling, and a potential ban from accessing social media platforms.

"Notoriety is currency as far as social media is concerned," said Crown prosecutor Heather Keating during Zoia's last court hearing in February. "Miss Zoia has been able to turn social media response [to her chair toss video] into a brand."

Keating had argued that, if the end result isn't jail time, others in search of viral fame might do something similar, or even worse — that it "might just sound worth it" to appear in a Drake video, as Zoia did briefly in December.

Tory clearly agrees.

"This is a person who even afterwards it seems didn't learn any lessons," said the Mayor of Zoia and her crime.

"I think the idea the Crown had to keep her off social media, for I would have said five years, that was a good idea that was not taken up."

The case of Zoia, better known as "Chair Girl," had been captivating Toronto news and gossip hounds since footage went viral of the young woman's chair toss near York and Harbour Streets on Feb. 9, 2019.

Zoia surrendered to police at their behest on Feb. 13 and was released later that day on a $2,000 bail.

Between then and now, she has managed to parlay her online notoriety into a career as an Instagram "model" with perks such as courtside Raptors seatstrips to Miami and a cameo in Drake's music video — all while facing serious charges of mischief endangering life, mischief endangering property under $5,000, and common nuisance.

After missing at least six scheduled court appearances, the one-time dental hygiene student pleaded guilty in November of 2019 to a charge of mischief endangering life.

With Tuesday's sentencing and the inevitable backlash that came with it now out of the way, it is my sincerest hope that the saga of Chair Girl is now over... but nobody really knows what will happen next, or how much the public will care.

Zoia celebrated her avoidance of jail last night with the local rapper Chromazz, among other friends, writing "Toronto's finest" in the caption of an Instagram photo for her more than 60,000 followers.

A second post, this one a video, shows Zoia, Chromazz and another friend singing along to King Von's "Crazy Story."

"I grab my Glock, it been through a lot, but it still shoot like new...
We at the top!" screams the young woman, laughing as the clip ends.

Another video posted to the young woman's IG story shows Zoia singing "boy don't listen to them f*cking critics."

"It's Marcella not chair girl," wrote Chomazz later in a repost of the first photo, to which Zoia replied "Das right."

None of this is behaviour is abnormal for a 20-year-old in Toronto, though some might argue that it's a lot for someone who just narrowly avoided jail time because a judge believed she'd "shown some insight" and "taken responsibility for her actions."

Lead photo by

Marcella Zoia

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