chair girl toronto

People in Toronto furious that Chair Girl didn't get jail time

The more than year-long saga of Toronto's Chair Girl finally came to a conclusion on Tuesday after at least six missed court appearances, one (short-lived) cameo in a Drake music video and, of course, two IKEA chairs that met their tragic fate back in February 2019 when then-19-year-old Marcella Zoia was filmed deliberately hurling them off the balcony of a 43rd floor condo unit.

Despite Zoia pleading guilty to mischief endangering life (though thankfully no one on the busy thoroughfares below was hurt), the young woman was only handed two years probation, a $2,000 fine and 150 hours of community service for her shocking demonstration of idiocy after such dragged-out proceedings — and Toronto isn't happy about it.

Even if solely because it was akin to watching a car crash, it seemed as if the entire city at least somewhat kept abreast of the latest developments in the Zoia case over the past 17 months while simultaneously condemning the attention that people were paying the former dental hygiene student.

And even though we may hate to acknowledge it, our collective fascination (read: exasperation) with Zoia and her inane escapades earned her the benefits that come with the mid-tier Instagram influencer-dom that she has since risen to.

While many influencers are able to make a career of social media due to a talent of some sort, our Chair Girl has done so by virtue of impetuously putting others' lives at risk for the sake of a social media video (and perhaps somewhat, admittedly, due to her well-engineered appearance).

Whether this has in a way served to define the things that some in Toronto hold dear — clout, ridiculous viral antics and good plastic surgery — is arguable.

But regardless of whether and why people paid Zoia and her story any regard, it is apparent that virtually no one is happy with the outcome of her trial, which could have potentially ended with up to six months behind bars.

Many had been advocating for a more severe sentence to make an example out of such rash, thoughtless behaviour given the fact that one or more pedestrians on the sidewalk below or drivers on the nearby Gardiner or Lakeshore could have easily been seriously injured or killed.

There is also the notoriety and d-list fame Zoia — who is now verified on Instagram — has gained from the incident to consider, as well as the reality that she did it all for a video she seemed to think would be funny and has shown little remorse since.

Others also note that the judge's deliberation may have been different if Zoia weren't an attractive young white girl.

Justice Mara Greene noted that Zoia's age at the time of the offense was a factor in the final decision, as well as her participation in a one-day alcohol abuse program, saying that "rehabilitation can not be ignored."

Zoia's lawyer had at one point also used the fact that his client's "brain's not fully developed" — something we can all agree on — as an argument against jail time.

Though Torontonians might not be thrilled about today's verdict, at least we likely never have to deal with hearing about Chair Girl again; unless, of course, she gets bored and decides to get up to another stunt of some sort.

Lead photo by

@marcellacz_


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