I'll Only Watch Toronto's 'Law & Order' Spinoff If They Cover These Ridiculous Canadian Cases
So many wild stories to choose from!
This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.
Canada is getting its very own Toronto-based spinoff of the cop show Law & Order, so now you’ll have something to discuss with your grandparents the next time you visit.
Rogers recently announced that it has given the green light to Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent, with the first 10-episode season expected to air on Citytv sometime in Spring 2024.
"As a psychological thriller wrapped in a criminal investigation, Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent follows an elite squad of detectives who investigate high-profile crime and corruption in metro Toronto," the news release reads. It adds that the show will use Canadian actors, producers and writers, so yay for that.
I’ll be honest here: I know all about the “dun dun!” theme music for this show, but I still haven’t watched a single minute of it in my life — and I'm guessing you're not a huge fan, either.
Yes, there’s a reason it’s been on TV for decades, but millennials and Gen Zs don't seem like the target audience.
Still, if they’re going to go full Canadian and set this thing in Toronto, then they really ought to cover some stories that are actually fun. And by fun, I mean some of the wild, bizarre and classically Canadian true crime stories that we’ve seen over the years, because who doesn’t want to see Marcella Zoia play herself in a Chair Girl episode?
Sure, there are some serial killers and other dark stories that could inspire the show, and the writers will likely just make up their own cases anyway. But if they want some quirky Canadian inspiration, there are some great real-life cases they can pull from.
Here are the wackiest Canadian cases that would actually make me watch Law & Order Toronto. (You're welcome, Rogers.)
The Sunwing party plane
Influencers on the Sunwing party plane.@111privateclub | Instagram
Basically, several Quebec-based influencers from James William Awad's 111 Private Club hopped on a Sunwing plane and partied through a flight to Mexico, while ignoring pandemic rules around masks and vaccines on December 30, 2021. The airline cancelled their flight home and they got stranded in Cancun, in a bad break that led to them getting roasted on social media around the world.
The whole caper is only a legal drama in that they were fined for breaching government rules, so it might not be the perfect fit for the homicide investigators on Law & Order Toronto. It's also a story out of Quebec, so you'd have to change some details to make this fit.
Still, I just want to see two crusty old detectives trying to wrap their heads around TikTok and vaping on a plane.
Poo poo guy
Photos of alleged feces-thrower Samuel Opoku from 2019.
Law & Order Toronto could easily do an episode on the case of the "Poo Poo Guy" who terrorized Toronto university students in 2019 with a series of bucket-launched poop attacks that ultimately led to his arrest.
I can picture it now: two hard-boiled detectives staring at a puddle of spilled feces, wondering about where and when the serial poop-flinger will strike next. Bonus points if one of them says "I'm getting too old for this sh*t."
\u201cA huge crowd has gathered to watch as specially trained @Toronto_Fire firefighters try to rescue this girl up a crane on Wellesley St.\u201d— Tony Smyth (@Tony Smyth) 1493204185
"Crane Girl" could be a two-part story arc on Law & Order Toronto, because the city has actually seen two cases of young women climbing construction cranes.
The first woman climbed a crane and captured plenty of media attention with the stunt in April 2017, per Global News. A little over a year later, another woman climbed a crane while topless in downtown Toronto, prompting a daring rescue effort.
Neither woman faced prison time for their actions so maybe this isn't the best topic for a crime thriller, although it is very Toronto.
The Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist
Maple syrup on display in Quebec.
OK, so we're borrowing a few crimes from Quebec for this list. Désolée, but let's be real: if one of these true Canadian crime stories has a chance of cracking the Law & Order Toronto lineup, it's the Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist.
Thieves spent several months stealing about 3,000 tons of maple syrup from a storage facility in Quebec from 2011-2012 before someone finally figured it out. That syrup is like liquid gold and it was estimated to be worth more than $17 million, making it one of the largest heists in Canadian history.
More than a dozen people were charged in connection with the case, and the ringleader was ordered last year to pay back millions for his ill-gotten syrup.
A long time ago in an city far, far away from Toronto (read: Mississauga), a monkey walked into an IKEA. He was a pet monkey named Darwin, he wore a faux shearling coat and the adorable security photos instantly went around the world as an early meme format in 2012.
The so-called "IKEA monkey" became a viral hit story at the time and his tale eventually turned into a major saga spanning about a decade. Bit by bit, news reports revealed Darwin's history, the details of his escape from his owner's car and what happened after he walked into that IKEA and became world famous.
Darwin's owner ultimately paid $240 in fines for the incident, and the monkey — a Japanese macaque, to be more specific — ended up in an animal sanctuary in Sunderland, Ontario, where he remains to this day.
This story might not be a great crime thriller on its own, but the Law & Order writers could flesh it out by combining it with the wild 2016 search for a pair of escaped capybaras that went on the run for weeks.
To be honest, I just want to see cops chasing monkeys and capybaras in a serious crime show.
Chair Girlmarcellacz_ | Instagram
You can't talk about weird crime in Toronto without bringing up the infamous "Chair Girl" story.
The year is 2019, the month is February and the location is a downtown condo building overlooking Toronto's Gardiner Expressway. That's when aspiring model Marcella Zoia hurled a chair off a balcony onto the busy road below, in a moment recorded by her friend and posted on social media.
The video blew up online and prompted a bunch of "WTF are you doing" reactions, as people marvelled at the fact that she didn't cause any serious accidents with the stunt.
Zoia later faced charges and she was ultimately sentenced to probation, a fine and community service for the incident. All of that didn't stop her, because she went on to appear in music videos by Drake and Tory Lanez, and eventually rode her infamy to greater social media stardom.
I'd just love to see a forensic analysis of the chair's trajectory on Law & Order Toronto.
Make this one happen, you cowards!