sia shells toronto

This Toronto woman lives her life as a mermaid

Ever wanted to just drop everything and live your life as a magical mermaid? Well, one Toronto woman does.

Sia Shells has over 52,400 followers on Instagram and around 392,000 followers on TikTok where she dresses up as a real life mermaid, tail and all.

Also known as Cassia, she's held jobs as a social media manager, but makes her income as a mermaid through content creation, collaborations and parties.

It's not just her hustle though: it's a huge part of who she is, as she's been dressing up as a mermaid ever since she was a little girl.

"I did all the Ariel singalongs and dressed as her for Halloween, then when they started coming out with swimmable mermaid tails everything fell into place," Cassia tells blogTO.

"Sometimes brands will reach out to me to collaborate, sometimes I'll do IRL events with kid's and adult birthdays that require a mermaid performer, other times I make TikToks and collaborate."

She also has her own Canada-based brand called SeaBae, an eco-conscious beauty brand that makes products like reusable makeup wipes and body bars and gives back to ocean conservation efforts.

Along with that, she performs as a singer-songwriter under the name Sia Shells and recently came out with a new single in 2022 called "BRB." While her following isn't quite as expansive in the music world, she's opened for some larger acts, and her branding is consistent: bubblegum vocals over relaxing dream-pop beats.

For photoshoots and just hanging out as a mermaid in Toronto, she loves heading to Woodbine, and sometimes also heads out of town to Sandbanks which she says "literally looks like a tropical paradise in photos."

When she has to live her life as a city girl, she still tries to incorporate as much of her mermaid style into her look as she can with mermaid leggings and seashell tops and hair clips.

"I love getting reactions on video as well so I can share them with the community and encourage everyone to dress how they want and live out their best mermaid lives," says Cassia.

"A lot of people are still afraid of getting judged or expressing themselves and I want everyone to feel empowered to that, because most of the time you're going to get the most amazing, memorable reactions even if there are the occasional bottom feeders here and there."

She's not afraid to respond to comments like "cringey" and "been eating too much kelp," responding with videos saying things like "my body is not your business." 

"As someone who grew up being bullied for dressing differently or doing things differently in my kid/teen years, I know how hard it can be to be in front of strangers, getting judged, excluded or even shamed for your choices and lifestyle," says Cassia.

"I want people to watch my videos and connect to the positivity and take that into their own lives."

Lockdowns have kept her landlocked more than usual for the past little while, but now she's ready to plunge back into things.

"I'd love to do more in-person events, and dive into opportunities IRL that I couldn't do in the last two to three years," says Cassia.

"I really miss doing shows and having that connection in the moment with people. Even though my online community is amazing, there's something particularly magical about interacting with people and feeling their energy in person."

Lead photo by

Andrea Hunter

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