adam skelley

These are some of the most infamous personalities in Toronto from the past year

The year 2020 may be remembered for how front-line workers battled the pandemic or for people taking to the street to fight for racial justice.

There were definitely moments of unity and a city coming together during troubled times.

Unfortunately, this year will also be remembered for some distasteful and just odd people that many would rather forget.

Topping many people's lists was the anti-lockdown movement and one of its most infamous leaders Christopher Saccoccia or Chris Sky. Sky led the group a local anti-masker group called MAD (Mothers Against Distancing) and was outspoken in his beliefs that mandatory mask policies like the City of Toronto's violate human rights.

Sky openly flouted the rules and was charged with one count of "Failure to Comply with an Order Prohibiting or Subjecting to any Condition the Entry into Canada," after flying into the country via Pearson International Airport on Sept. 20.

In a similar vein, Toronto restaurant owner Adam Skelley also didn't like the rules and opened his barbecue joint in Etobicoke for three days, despite multiple lockdown orders. Skelley was arrested on Nov. 26.

He later revealed that he opened the restaurant on Nov. 24 with the intention of being charged under the Reopening Ontario Act and then challenging the government in court.

"I made many promises (including to myself) not to back down- so I entered the building through the back unit and did what I had to do to open the restaurant. This got the police and bylaw to issue the charges under the 'Reopening Ontario Act' that I was after," Skelly wrote in an email newsletter to supporters.

Those anti-lock down supporters appeared to have some haters when two men with chainsaws decided to tear apart their party. The two men terrified people at Cherry Beach in August when they appeared out of the brush, blood-covered with chainsaws.

The story got stranger when members of MAD (Mothers Against Distancing) accused the two men of destroying roughly $4,000 worth of DJ equipment that had been set up on the beach for a late-night protest afterparty.

A story about a fleeting moment of destruction, which could have killed someone, was resolved in 2020. Marcella Zoia, also known as Chair Girl, was sentenced to two years of probation and 150 hours of community service in July. Zoia, had been captivating Toronto news and gossip hounds for more than a year now after video footage went viral of her throwing a chair over a balcony to York and Harbour Streets on Feb. 9, 2019.

This year also saw revelations come to light around the Toronto-based charity WE. WE founders Marc Kielburger and Craig Kielburger were thrust into the spotlight as questions swirled around a deal with the Canadian government to administer roughly $912 million in student grants through a new volunteer program meant to offset the impacts of COVID-19.

The deal went sour after it was revealed Trudeau's mother, brother and wife had been paid in the past to appear at WE events. The organization went through a series of serious allegations of everything from employee abuse and muzzling staff to outright fraud.

In the end, the brothers resigned and WE Charity closed down operations in Canada.

Perhaps the year 2020 was just too much for some people to handle. Let's hope 2021 will bring less bad behaviour and a little more kindness.


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