Written Work

The Rise and Fall of the Modern Day Hipster

How a subculture of anomalies became the new mainstream. 
26 December 2017 14:45 | Anastasiya Romanska


TORONTO, Ont.– A bearded man leaves his Kensington Market flat styling thrifted jeans, shaggy hair, thick-rimmed glasses, and cold brew coffee in hand. What was once a rare sighting of a hipster is now becoming an everyday occurrence for many.

Although any hipster would be caught dead calling themselves by such a name, their fixie bicycles and homemade Kombucha are a dead giveaway. The subculture of young men and women known for their indie progressive ideas about music, food, fashion, and lifestyle is no longer a small minority. Despite being stereotypically associated with Denmark and Portland; hipster hubs have begun popping up across the world. Toronto, Reykjavik, Berlin, and Stockholm are just a few of the many cities that have become home to the 21st-century hipster. How did a group known for their alienation from all things mainstream, become too mainstream even for themselves?

The term hipster was originated in the 1940’s to describe the jazz-loving youth straying from the path of their parents. Hipsters, as we have come to now know them, first reappeared in the late 1990’s and blossomed into the 2000’s. With them came thrift shops, craft brews, beard oil, and farmer’s markets. As this movement hit large cities, average citizens slowly began conforming to these odd lifestyles and there you have it, the assimilation of hipster culture. It is now normal for teenagers to shop at thrift stores and for their dads to rock flannels while growing vegetables at home. If your next corporate meeting is held at an independent tea bar, you can thank the hipsters.

In this new world of hipster ideals, the original hipster is left to fend for themselves. As for the rest of, we can only wonder what’s next for the subculture whose identity has been ripped away from them. To spot a true hipster in the wild before it’s too late, visit one of their frequented spots in Toronto:

Kensington Market– Toronto’s diverse bohemian neighbourhood; home to artists, musicians, and the most notable hipsters. Filled with vintage shops, trendy bars, boutiques, and independent coffee shops.

Chinatown– for all of your hipster’s organic, international grocery needs. The constantly busy neighbourhood is known for its Asian outdoor markets, restaurants, and herbal medicines- hipster paradise.

Trinity Bellwoods Park-  a nature oasis in Toronto’s West Queen West Neighborhood is booming with activities. Enjoy live theatre, sunbathing, drumming circles, and spot hipsters on their fixie bikes running late to their picnics.

Distillery District- enjoy a pedestrian-only neighbourhood, with cobblestone paths and plenty of indie restaurants for the Torontonian hipster. Stop by for an art installation or music performance and stay for everything else there is to enjoy.

The Annex- constantly filled with students, enjoying cold brewed coffee, vintage bookstores, and casual eateries. A dream come true for any hipster.

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