Photo cred - csmartfx
There's a lot of young people in this city, and each of us is unique in our own way. That being said, we can easily be categorized into distinct groups. For those who are new to the city, see if you recognize any of these people on your trips out. For those of you who live here, try to see where you fit in this list.
Typically grad students at U of T. These folks pride themselves in knowing everything about anything, and will never let you make any sort of statement without it turning into a serious debate. Every moment is an opportunity for learning, and Enlightened Intellectuals do their best to keep up to date on current events as well as new interpretations of historical events.
These guys may or may not be studying art in school, but it definitely consumes their world. They can be found with canvass paper or a sketch pad on them at all times, and whether their medium is paint, pencil, or graphic design, you'll see them sketching new ideas on the subway or in cafes, and even mid-conversation.
Typically female, this subset usually doesn't exist past age 24. These girls are usually students, and while they tend to keep their grades up, school is in no way their passion. They're much more interested in shopping, instagraming selfies with their friends, and meeting up for pumpkin spiced lattes at all hours of the day.
Photo cred - HarrisRoussos
Once again falling squarely in the "student" category, nerds can be very different from one another. The thing that binds them is an intense passion for something that most other people in their age group think is a waste of time. See: Dungeons and Dragons, the Halo Franchise, HP Lovecraft novels. While other people may be interested in these things as well, nerds take it to the next level, allowing their love for their hobby of choice to get in the way of them dressing like they are aware that they exist in the physical world.
Found in the Church and Wellesely area, Village Gays are typically young professionals. During the week they behave responsibly, going to work in the morning, preparing for meetings, and going to bed at a reasonable hour at night. On the weekends they let loose: V-neck shirts as far as the eye can see and partying until dawn from Friday to Sunday.
You've seen them around. Business bros generally have important jobs in the Financial District, and despite their tender age, they make more money than you'll see in the next 20 years. They are hard and fast subscribers to the "work hard, play harder" mentality that this city cultivates, so don't be surprised when they out last you at the clubs on Saturday night.
These guys are the people who make your food every time you go to a fancy restaurant. You'll recognize them by their tattoo sleeves, white aprons, and their speech. Kitchen bros will never let you forget how much they "crushed" that creme brule they just made.
These folks are never happy with where they are. If you're seeing them around the city, they've either just gotten back from a trip to Thailand, or their on they're preparing to go roadtripping through the States. They have friends from all across the globe, and they won't rest until they've hit every continent at least twice. They're fun to have around because they'll always be able to introduce you to foods you've never tried.
Photo cred - todosnuestrosmuertos
You'll know them by their heavy black boots and sleeveless band t-shirts. Although Toronto punks are some of the nicest people in the city, you'll always feel a little intimidated in their presence. Between their impressive piercing collections and ability to handle stick-n-pokes, they can't help but make you feel like a wimp.
There's a decently sized subset of young people in this city who have just finished school and are back at home with their parents, trying to make money for the next leg of their journey. You know them, they're your friends, maybe your siblings. They rarely come out when you invite them to events, unless their free. They make brief appearances at parties and then head straight to bed so they can be well rested for their job/internship in the morning. You resent this a little, but you're also proud of them for getting on top of their lives in a way that you have no motivation for.
Whether they're living at home with their parents, or living in an apartment being paid for by their parents, these folks have no intention of supporting themselves any time soon. They're down to go out on any day of the week, because they usually don't have jobs. I've dubbed them "Peter Pans," because they are definitely not growing up.
Every friend you have who's in a band, and I'm sure you have a few. These guys and girls will be working minimum wage jobs well into their late-20s to support their art. And while you have to admire their drive, sometimes you wonder if it's time to give up on the dream. You're certainly tired of having to go to their poorly-attended gigs.
Don't you dare mess with their bikes, because trust me, they cost more than you pay for rent. These folks have an emotional relationship with their bikes that you could never understand. Often times they built them themselves, spending years searching for the perfect parts, and tuning them up at least once a month. Don't think they'll accept you as one of them just because you have a bike too. Is it a fixie? Is there a cool story behind where you got it? If not, they're really not interested.
Photo cred - Brad Choi
These folks can be found all over the city, but they tend to congregate around Kensington Market and York University. Pretty much any white person with dreadlocks, any dumpster diver, anyone incorporating Tye-dye into their aesthetic fits into this category.
These guys know way more about music than you do, so don't waste their time with your insipid opinions. They usually host or produce radio shows with their college's radio station, and see radio as an art form. They definitely fall under the umbrella off "Hipsters," because who listens to the radio anymore?
These folks can comingle with non-activists, but they tend to do it rarely and begrudgingly. Activists inhabit their own social world, one involving screen-printing and home-brewing your own mead. Unsurprisingly, they're also very politically engaged, so if you don't want to talk about what's happening in St. Louis, you're better off steering clear.
Vintage clothing shopping isn't just a pastime for people in this category. It's a way of life. You'll never cease to be impressed with some of the amazing things they can find on the racks at Value Village, especially because every time you look for yourself, you can't find anything that doesn't make you look homeless.
Never suggest grabbing a bite at McDonalds around these guys, they'll look at you like you just slapped them. They can be great for introducing you to cool new food spots around the city, but most of the time they just get in the way of you satisfying your late night craving with whatever you can find closest to you.
Photo cred - Joel Bedford
The "Cooler than You" Crowd
They're up on all of the best new spots to party at. They've heard all the new bands months before you'll hear their names for the first time. They're just better than you. Some of them are dicks about it, but the worst ones are those who are sweet and understanding about the fact that you just don't operate on their frequency. Assholes.