If you live in Toronto or are looking for some fresh ink while visiting the vibrant city, you want to make sure you go to an experienced tattoo artist. Keep in mind that getting an appointment at a high-end tattoo shop can take weeks — even months. It’s good to have a roster of potential well-known parlours and artists so you don’t have to wait too long.
Whether you’re looking for a full sleeve, a meaningful quote, or something you might have to hide from your grandparents, the tattoo parlours in Toronto have got you covered.
Here are our suggestions for the best tattoo parlours in Toronto. All we ask is you don’t get your partner’s name tattooed on you — that’s never a good idea.
The studio started as a small operation in 2008 and is now the most visited tattoo shop in Toronto. Located at Yonge and Gerrard in downtown Toronto, co-founders Tony Hu and Tristen Zhang are known for their Neo-Asian realist tattoos.
If you’re looking for zen vibes, we recommend Chronic Ink. The shop believes tattoos are therapy for the soul, and anyone who goes there agrees.
This professional and contemporary custom studio designs unique masterpieces in-house by the artists. Located on Bloor Street, they specialize in teeny-tiny tattoos and impossibly precise line work. They are also known for a non-judgemental and welcoming environment.
Ink & Water’s Instagram followers are on the rise, so we suggest booking soon.
This next shop is not for the faint of heart. If you’re a self-proclaimed “carpe diem” type of person, this shop might be for you. Best known for their you-get-what-you-get technique, guests get tatted with whatever comes out of a vending machine — yes, a vending machine!
If you enjoy classic Americana tattoos and colourful pop-art pieces, head down to Okey Doke, located at Dundas and Ossington. Bonus: no appointment needed!
Black Line Studio Body Art Boutique
Recognizing the luxury of scheduling appointments, Black Line Studio only accepts walks-in, allowing anyone to freely come in and take a seat in their tattoo chair. Black Line Studio is also the only shop in Toronto to offer tattoo removal on the same floor they provide tattoos.
Located on King Street West, the studio has been around for 12 years and has served over 54,000 clients. If the name didn’t already give it away, these artists are professionals in black and white linework.
If you are a first-timer, Tattoo People is the number one recommended shop for you. The staff is exceptional at explaining every step to create a comfortable and relaxing environment for their clientele.
Originating in South Korea, Tattoo People is in the Annex at Bathurst and Dupont. Most of the work is completely custom, ranging from Asian design and American-inspired tats to intricate floral work.
Brooke Parker | Contributing Writer