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CBC does God’s work, tracking the hipsterfication of Spadina Avenue



Trigger warning for hipster content.

Have you walked up and down Spadina Avenue lately? If so, you’re probably a hipster, trawling the Chinatown strip, turning crummy t-shirt wholesalers into board-game cafes as if by the sheer force of fickle taste-making willpower.

Yes, Old Chinatown has a problem. And that problem is hipsters. But the CBC, ever vigilant, is keeping a watchful eye on the trendification of the street with a new interactive feature.

CBC’s Spadina’s Hipster Makeover asks readers to submit “examples of traditional Spadina shops transforming for a new clientele.” The accompanying graphic features a Spadina street sign decked out in a fuzzy beard (because hipsters love beards, and will go to insane lengths to acquire them) and sunglasses (because hipsters are extra-sensitive to the blinding tyranny of the sun, probably because they’re always hungover from drinking bespoke IPAs all night—or possibly because they’re vampires). It basically looks like if Zach Galifianakis was a street sign.

The project itself indexes Chinatown’s changing landscape, business by business. It’s hard to get a bead on what the CBC’s angle is, though the use of “hipster” always presumes the presence of predatory gentrifying agents, driving out mom-and-pop merchants to open up stores selling nothing but fixed-gear cogs and Hario kettles.

As it stands, a lot of the new and upcoming Chinatown businesses the CBC has noticed so far (like Lucky Red and People’s Eatery) seem to represent a new generation of Chinese and Vietnamese cooks invigorating the neighbourhood with Asian fusion and dressed-up bahn mi subs, while also preserving its culinary DNA. Oh no!

  • L to the Amp

    this article has everything it needs to FAIL, im guessing this was submitted from VICE’s reject pile.
    Poking fun at hipsters was fun like 15 years ago when the term had not been watered down to refer any one with glasses a beard or who grew up in Canada.


  • pikachiu132

    How are any of these places really hipster? Not to mention, this is a GOOD thing they are transforming the street from dumpy stores, to something that people will actually enjoy. Ocho, and Dark horse has been there forever. I’m glad we’ll have something like Peoples Eatery and Strada on the strip as some options other than good cheap chinese food. This isn’t hipster, its Toronto and a showcase of our wonderful food tastes.

  • StatiK

    What L to the Amp said… Facepalm indeed.

  • Caitie marie

    Im guessing all those who replied in anger to this article are in fact the IPA totting, sad beard growing, let’s spend lots of money to look poor “Hipsters” that are being targeted here. Poking fun at Hipsters may have been funny 15 years ago, now its more of a necessity in hopes of bringing to light the sickening trend of caring about not caring that has plagued our generation.