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Best of Toronto

The Best Tattoo Parlours in Toronto

Posted by Evan Sue-Ping / March 20, 2015

best tattoo parlours torontoThe best tattoo parlours in Toronto are a pack ahead of the competition in a passionate community where everyone's got an opinion. Loyal living canvases can get heated when a favourite shop has been seemingly neglected, and with so many established and up and coming artists in Toronto - not to mention tattooed citizens - competition is definitely not in short supply. However, some shops have indisputably gone above and beyond, establishing themselves as truly trustworthy stops for ink.

Here are the best tattoo parlours in Toronto.

See also:

The top 10 tattoo artists in Toronto
The top 10 up and coming tattoo artists in Toronto

Pearl Harbor Gift Shop

Pearl Harbor Gift Shop

The jewel of the Kensington market, now in its fifth year of existence, holds the distinction of being our readers' favorite shop. It's easy to see why - Pearl Harbor is a beautiful space that turns out incredible, traditionally-inspired, one-of-a-kind pieces. In-demand shop owners Bill Baker and Daniel Innes are not currently taking on new work, but there is a wealth of talent and experience to tackle any custom project. More »

Speakeasy Tattoo

Speakeasy Tattoo

This down-to-earth shop remains as unpretentious as it did when it first appeared on the scene in 2009. Owner and tattoo veteran Lizzie Renaud brings her considerable experience and traditional know-how to the Harbour Street space. Professionalism is guiding principle of the shop; clients know that their ideas are treated seriously and each artist works hard to make them a reality. More »

Archive Tattoo Studio

Archive Tattoo Studio

The shop, owned by world-renowned artist David Glants, has not lost any of the magic that got them recognized when they first opened in 2008. Glantz is a highly sought after artist for his unique mix of classical and contemporary style. A small shop with two other artists in the fold, Archive has a dedicated and supportive clientele. More »

Imperial Tattoo

Imperial Tattoo

Part of the transition in popularity from street shops to custom shops, Imperial Tattoo has earned its reputation as a go-to for any number of styles. Owner Ronan Gibney is a recognized talent in black and grey realism and has held his artists to the same standards of excellence. The shop at Queen and Ossington has built its reputation on strong word-of-mouth, with Gibney booking up to 6 months in advance. More »

Passage Tattoo Parlour

Passage Tattoo Parlour

Far away from the hustle and bustle of Queen Street's tattoo corridor, Jay Decator's Passage Tattoo stands on its own - by location and by merit. Known for his amiable personality, his Church St. shop resonates the same kind of personable attitude that keeps clients coming back. A monster with a tattoo machine, Decator has happily shared his expertise with his artists, past and present. More »

Seven Crowns Tattoo

Seven Crowns Tattoo

Though the Yonge and Eglinton area is not known for tattooing, Seven Crowns owners Matt Ellis and George Brown III have added considerable colour to the otherwise staid neighbourhood since opening in 2008. With clean line-work and solid techniques, both Ellis and Brown ensure that the work coming out of Seven Crowns is created with one thing in mind More »

Black Pearl Tattoos

Black Pearl Tattoos

Toronto's reputation for stellar black and grey work is ever-growing and one of the main reasons for this is Mike Storey. A relative newcomer to the Toronto tattoo community, he opened Black Pearl on the Danforth in spring 2014 and quickly gained recognition for his unparalleled portrait work. In addition to handling a number of styles between the shop's three artists, they also run $60-100 flash days on Friday and Saturday, tattooing unique shop designs. More »

Okey Doke Tattoo

Okey Doke Tattoo

The Okey Doke recently relocated to Dundas St. West from its original home on College. Owner Eric Newstead quickly filled the expanded space with new artists and has continued with his mission to create a shop unlike any other. With a playful attitude - one reflected in his much-talked about Tattoo Vending Machine - the Okey Doke sets their clients at ease while paying full respect to their needs. More »

Chronic Ink

Chronic Ink

Chronic Ink quickly grew out of its unusual Pacific Mall location, opening a second shop at Yonge and Eglinton. With a focus on Asian-based styles, the shop has gained recognition through the convention circuit - owner Tristan Zhang has won several prestigious awards for his impeccable freehand style. The Pacific Mall location recently relocated to the Kennedy/Denison area in Markham and continues to ensure that Chronic Ink's influence is far reaching. More »

Discussion

26 Comments

katia / March 20, 2015 at 03:16 pm
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No chronic ink OR FY Ink??? what the what??!!!
Alex / March 20, 2015 at 03:46 pm
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Unless Chronic Ink (listed as 9th) is different from the place you mean, it's listed 9th.
katia replying to a comment from Alex / March 20, 2015 at 03:54 pm
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@alex You are correct! Thanks for pointing that out.
jon / March 20, 2015 at 04:29 pm
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Okey Doke was terrible. Never going back.
Alina / March 20, 2015 at 05:29 pm
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www.sergeyshanko.com the best in Toronto
Mark / March 20, 2015 at 05:31 pm
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Chronic Ink has the biggest roster of talent in Toronto that I can tell. A dozen at least artists that can put out incredible work day in and out. Not sure who else could boast that many. Daniel and Bill at Pearl are two, and as the article says, are not taking on any new work at the moment so if you're looking why would you go there. I can name 12 or more at Chronic that will book you and be super impressed with the finished product. To me that alone would move them higher up, which in coming years I expect
Bryan / March 20, 2015 at 05:36 pm
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Gotten work done at both Pearl and the Okey Doke. Love both the quality of the work and the atmosphere.
Terry / March 20, 2015 at 06:29 pm
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Does your bestfriends wife also use UBER? Is that you?
Decker Cassette / March 20, 2015 at 07:35 pm
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I got the tats like Bieber, I got the tats like Bieber, I got ta-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-ats ... like Bieber.l
Chaz / March 20, 2015 at 10:23 pm
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Is OZ still doing ink? I remember getting a few key pieces from the OZ man cometh!
Christina / March 20, 2015 at 11:55 pm
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Black Widow (Queen & Roncesvalles); Chino kills it every time!!
Randman / March 21, 2015 at 12:35 pm
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I had a tattoo done at Pearl Harbor Gift Shop. Showed up for a walk in and had a tattoo by Elissa Vienot. Great work, great shop, super clean. i only have one other tattoo and I was very comfortable there.
Peter / March 23, 2015 at 01:55 pm
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Nine best places to partake in this mass cultural phenomena of future regret.
Randman replying to a comment from Peter / March 25, 2015 at 02:11 pm
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@peter .. I have two tattoo's... One of my daughters name... the second a soccer ball... two very important aspects in my life... and will forever be a very large part of my life. Can you explain how i will suffer "Future Regret" as a result ?
BOB Jimmer / March 26, 2015 at 05:37 pm
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so Andres Merrill and Peter Belej get on the top 10 artist list, Jenny boulger gets on the top 10 up and coming artist list but TCB doesnt make the top 10 shops list which all 3 work at... that doesnt make much sense to me.
Does Blog TO even read their own lists???
Jonah / March 28, 2015 at 12:44 pm
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Why is Pearl Harbour #1 when not even a single artist from there was on BlogTo's "The top 10 tattoo artists in Toronto" or "The top 10 up and coming tattoo artists in Toronto"?? This is why no one takes these lists seriously anymore. I find even Yelp's ratings for Tattoo Shops in Toronto more accurate.
Nel / April 2, 2015 at 09:23 am
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I had my tattoo done at Adrenaline Tattoo on Queen near University by Justin Murphy. They're extremely clean and professional. Would definitely recommend!
Douglas Duncan / April 8, 2015 at 11:06 am
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You left off Aces and Swords, 3373 Lakeshore Blvd West, in Etobicoke. I have had Tattoo's done in Russia, Hawaii, Los Angles, Ottawa and finally at Aces and Swords here in Toronto. The professionalism, cleanliness, artistic capability and overall comfort I felt having my work done there surpassed all me previous experiences. Psycho Dave and Carmin run a class operation. Good People.
Catherine / April 8, 2015 at 03:55 pm
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I'm a newbie, so be kind. I want a very simple tattoo with just a couple of words. Would any of these parlours be open to that, or do they only do 'big' work? Thanks.
Mandy / April 17, 2015 at 08:13 pm
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I would recommend anyone wanting an amazing tattoo to book a free consultation with Mike Beddome at Seven Crowns. He is absolutely amazing. He would be a great choice for simple designs (including lettering) to large scale work over several sessions. I had him cover up an old tattoo for my wedding with a much larger one. It is awesome! There is absolutely no trace of the old tattoo. I am very satisfied. I have heard so many horror stories of people getting cheap ugly tattoos that will be with them for life. Go to Mike if you want to avoid future regrets. The shop is not the cheapest in town, but tattoos are definitely something that you do not want to cheap out on. Good Luck.
Josh / April 20, 2015 at 06:09 pm
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www.blackpearltoronto.com check them out..... incredible artists, and the best shop atmosphere you'll find anywhere!
Erin / April 27, 2015 at 04:07 pm
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I've been tattooed in 4 shops in T.O... 2 on this list. I have never had a bad experience, and really love the fact we have so much talent in this city. It should really be a top 20 list. Just take your time, find a place and tattooer you're comfortable with, don't be afraid to spend some $$$. :)
Jessica / April 30, 2015 at 09:27 pm
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What about Tattoo People? Check them out! http://www.blogto.com/services/tattoo-people-toronto
V / May 3, 2015 at 10:46 am
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Recommend Chronic Ink by far. Great talent there
Kyle / May 3, 2015 at 11:18 pm
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Mark Prata from Toronto Ink is amazing. i got a half sleeve done by him last year and I am sti stopped all the time with compliments. His colour work is incredible and I swear his colour is the brightest. Very happy with his work
Bobby / May 18, 2015 at 09:25 pm
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Toronto Ink's Mark Prata is Amazing. I kept hearing about his work and seeing it every where i went. After finally choosing to set up a consultation my mind was set. Check out Mark Prata at Toronto Ink. Dude is amazing my sleeve is exactly what i wanted. I brought in google pics and he said he didnt want to copy anything exactly that this would be used as reference. He didn't steer far off my ideas or reference but definetly put his twist on it. I am so happy Toronto Ink should be on this list for sure. If you havent heard of them check them out www.torontoink.com there is another dude Roumen there thats work is amazing aswell between the two of them, Toronto Ink is a one stop shop. Thank guys if you get this. Bobby B.

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