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Best of Toronto

The Best Tattoo Parlours in Toronto

Posted by Ryan Bolton / May 12, 2011

best tattoo parlours torontoThe best tattoo parlours in Toronto are varied. Different clienteles, histories, techniques et al. But they all have one thing in common -- they're well revered by Toronto's tattooed community, which is to say, well, just about everyone, including the suits. I have tattoos, you have tattoos, we all have tattoos. And with a glut of shops popping up just about everywhere in the city -- every two steps along Queen St. for damned sure -- it's a good idea to make sure you're getting ink from a shop that has a bit of a reputation for, say, quality. Let's stay away from that guy's basement apartment (read: scratcher shop).

Like everyone says, it's going to be on you for a long time (read: life). And although sometimes it's fun to strike when the inspiration is hot, most people (read: those that aren't inebriated) like to put some thought into their pieces. Reasonable enough.

Here's a list of Toronto's best tattoo parlours in Toronto.

Pearl Harbor Gift Shop

Pearl Harbor Gift Shop

These guys do it right. They hold onto the traditions of tattooing, are respectful, have a drop-dead gorgeous shop in Kensington, and, what do you know, do really freakin’ good tattoos. They take pride in working directly with the client on each piece. It also helps that Toronto’s legendary Bill Baker runs the place with Daniel Innes. In summation - it’s a solid shop. More »

Passage Tattoo Parlour

Passage Tattoo Parlour

One of the city’s best (and most hidden) tattoo shops. Built over the years on a solid word-of-mouth reputation, Passage simply does brilliant custom work. As custom tattoos are beginning to become the norm for a lot of customers, these guys will take what you want and give you the best possible version. And they’re all nice as hell. More »

Archive Tattoo Studio

Archive Tattoo Studio

Having only officially been around since 2008, David Glantz’s shop has built up quite the hype. Doing 100% original tattoos, Archive strives to have a connection with the client. They want to feel you out and what you’re into before putting tattoo machine to skin. And for a lot of people, that’s good peace of mind. No matter, the tattoos that come out of this place are pretty damn impressive. More »

Imperial Tattoo

Imperial Tattoo

With a handful of artists, Imperial Tattoo has someone for just about every style – realism, illustration, Japanese, traditional, colour, Celtic. Holed up in a clean, open-concept loft space at Ossington and Queen, Imperial also houses Ronan Gibney, considered to be one of the city’s top tattoo artists. That never hurts your reputation. More »

Seven Crowns Tattoo

Seven Crowns Tattoo

Most people, me included, just straight up like co-owners Matthew Ellis and George Brown. They’re nice dudes with antiquated style when it comes to decor. Carving out their own terrain all alone up at Yonge and Eg, Seven Crowns is known for their custom work. And like most of the city’s top tattoo shops, they are pretty much hidden. They are sought out because of their work, like a good shop should be. More »

Tat-A-Rama Tattoo Shop

Tat-A-Rama Tattoo Shop

Here’s Toronto’s classic street shop with all the history. Found in Etobicoke (yeah, seriously, far west end), this little shop in a mini-mall has had some of the city’s most acclaimed tattoo artist put in at least a stint at Tat-A-Rama. Most got their start here. That says a lot about the shop’s owner, Eugene, who has been at the helm for the past 18 years. More »

TCB Tattoos

TCB Tattoos

Here’s a street shop that gets it right. With people constantly coming and going and an open atmosphere between tattoo stations, TCB is built on community. Splashed with art and colours everywhere you look, these guys service everyone from businessmen to college kids to day labourers. And with six artists and an apprentice, TCB has a lot of capacity. More »

Speakeasy Tattoo

Speakeasy Tattoo

Albeit a relatively new shop, Speakeasy is drenched in tradition. It’s a classic-styled tattoo shop that holds onto the respect that comes with tattoo culture. Lizzie Renaud, the shop’s owner, has tattooed around the world, which translates into bringing what she’s learned and seen overseas to the shop. They also have a fluffly Pomeranian named Wilma if that counts for anything. More »

New Tribe Tattoo

New Tribe Tattoo

With a prime location downtown (across from MuchMusic), New Tribe has a steady passerby clientele always popping in. Doing it all – tattoos, piercings and even haircuts – New Tribe is known for always putting out a solid tattoo. This monster of a shop (it rings in at 4,000 sq. ft.) is built for the masses. You want to get a solid piercing or tat after seeing Katy Perry at Much? No problem. More »

Discussion

158 Comments

Josh / May 12, 2011 at 10:12 am
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I may be totally biased but I think both Seven Crowns and Speakeasy should be higher on the list.
Rizie replying to a comment from Josh / May 12, 2011 at 10:15 am
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I agree with you Josh!
berlin / May 12, 2011 at 10:25 am
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I haven't been anywhere in Toronto other than The Pearl Harbor to see Dan, and I don't think I would go anywhere else. Top notch artist in a top notch shop. I know why they are number 1.
keven / May 12, 2011 at 10:52 am
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Def want some ink done by Bill Baker at Pearl Harbor Gift Shop. Legend.
Simon / May 12, 2011 at 10:56 am
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Aside from #9 this is an amazing list. The order can be debated but we're talking about art here, not nachos, so it'll always be subjective. These shops have great quality, artists and reputation (except 9) and I'm definitely pleased with this round.

My #1 will always be Seven Crowns.
Michala / May 12, 2011 at 10:57 am
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I have a Crest Spin Brush and a pack of Bic pens. I will ttat you up for $20/hr.
Melissa / May 12, 2011 at 12:20 pm
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Does anyone know if any of these places are wheelchair accessible?
chris / May 12, 2011 at 01:46 pm
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Archive Tattoo is wheelchair accessible and Dave and his crew are amazing.
Josh replying to a comment from Simon / May 12, 2011 at 02:04 pm
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I partly agree with you on #9. While I do love the work I've had done at New Tribe, the attitudes weren't as enjoyable. I'm not sure if being on Queen has went to their heads but I have always felt very unwelcome any time I've been in there. I can say the same about Adrenaline, which is probably why it isn't on the list...Both shops have great artists that produce some amazing work but getting tattooed is about the experience and New Tribe's isn't the best.
Josh replying to a comment from Simon / May 12, 2011 at 02:06 pm
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I partly agree with you on #9. While I do love the work I've had done at New Tribe, the attitudes weren't as enjoyable. I'm not sure if being on Queen has went to their heads but I have always felt very unwelcome any time I've been in there. I can say the same about Adrenaline, which is probably why it isn't on the list...Both shops have great artists that produce some amazing work but getting tattooed is about the experience and New Tribe's isn't the best.
Brandon / May 12, 2011 at 02:45 pm
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Seven Crowns is my #1 shop, I've been getting work done by Matt Ellis for close to 10 years now and he always manages to out do himself. Both Matt and George are really laid back friendly guys and they throw some great art shows/parties.
Peter V / May 12, 2011 at 03:16 pm
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I'm with Brandon, I went to the Art show Seven Crowns did last fall and they really are a bunch of great people. And the work they do is really solid too. Congrats !
Tattoo lady / May 12, 2011 at 03:45 pm
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Passage by far!!! Chris Wellard is my artist. Thanks for all the great work dude. You rule! And hello to the rest of the passage family. Always so welcoming, congrats guys.
Missy / May 12, 2011 at 03:49 pm
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Passage has an insane amount of talent under one roof, and has been in business for like 20 years! A well respected Toronto institution and could/should easily be #1!
Snake / May 12, 2011 at 03:59 pm
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Congrats to the hard workers of passage tattoo, they are all great artist and excellent people! I'm very proud to wear the tattoos done by them.
Sonia / May 12, 2011 at 04:11 pm
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I just don't trust New Tribe. When I was 16, my friend wanted to get a piercing you can only get once you're 18+ (by law), but she decided to try and go to New Tribe for it anyway. She's 20 now but she STILL looks about 14... yet when they checked her ID they didn't seem to notice that she was still two years too young.

Ever since then I've found them pretty iffy.
Mike / May 12, 2011 at 04:19 pm
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Passage for the win! Congratulations!
Lza @ Sonia / May 12, 2011 at 06:29 pm
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Actually Sonia your comment couldn't be further from the truth. While I agree with you that New Tribe is by far and away not in Toronto's Top 10, there are actually no set legal regulations surrounding tattoos and piercings in Canada. The medcial board in Canada doesn't deem it a point of interest and don't see tattoo and piercing regulation as an area of interest and as a result it doesn't exist.

However, by American standards...the legal age to receive a piercing is in fact 16 (with the notable exceptions being surface, genital and female nipple piercings which are all 18). Please don't further the spread of incorrect facts about the body mod industry in Canada. While Health Educators Inc does a great job of managing the American standards, no such standards exist here and its important to fight for that to change.

If you aren't aware of what you are speaking about please don't pitch in your two cents. Everyone with a tattoo thinks they know the industry inside and out and most of them are completely wrong almost all of the time
Shank / May 12, 2011 at 06:41 pm
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I had just moved to Toronto, and came across Passage because I enjoyed their styles and it was close to where I was! For my first tattoo, a large piece and being 19, they treated me as if I was one of their long standing customers. Suggested something better than I had and made me appreciate what I was spending my money on. Will always stand behind the great work at Passage!
The Beaver / May 12, 2011 at 07:15 pm
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I had some work done at Tat A Rama a few years ago. It was my first tattoo and it came out great. Nice attitudes, good pricing, no complaints. It's nice to see them on this list, I thought they would be too small and too unknown since they are located in such a random and ugly area.
stefanie / May 12, 2011 at 07:39 pm
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Tattoos...hm...where to start...
Questions:
Why get tattooed? why permanent art on your body? whats the attraction? Make me understand. Is it a vanity thing like clothing, makeup and hair? Ive always found tattoos to be a sign of insecurity or a cry for attention. help me understand you people, are you all just victims of a hard night of drinking? bored? dumb? . whats wrong with you that you have such an intense passion to be written on? This is more than a preference thing, you tattooed people are the majority now and you scare me with your judgement of us non tattooed folk. Are you guys mad?
AE / May 12, 2011 at 07:59 pm
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When choosing a place for a text tattoo should one be as selective as those who want images? Or would any artist do? :p
BA @ stefanie / May 12, 2011 at 08:27 pm
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Question: Where on earth did you learn to write?

Why troll here? did you fail to impress your other 14 year old friends with your witty banter? Maybe you'd like to jeer at old people on a birthday. Either way, you could be doing much more important things. You could learn about punctuation and the fascinating world of capital letters. Or there is always your idyllic world of clothing, make-up and hair.
James / May 12, 2011 at 09:44 pm
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Tyson at Passage did both of my tattoos. Now that the weather is nice again and my arms are visable, I actually have people stopping me on the street (hell, CROSSING the street) to say how much they like them, and ask who did the work. Even in other shops along Queen west I have been asked who did my work and when I answer "Tyson at Passage", they nod knowingly.
Drew / May 12, 2011 at 11:07 pm
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I started going to Seven Crowns about 6 months ago and they are just great. Matt Ellis is a genius. I just completed a large oriental chest piece with him and I'll be going back to him later this summer to start up a sleeve. It's very comfortable and enjoyable in their private rooms and all the staff are friendly and cool. I've been to atleast 3 other places in the city and none of them compare to Seven Crowns. I'm so happy they were recommended to me. I would suggest them to anyone.
stefanie replying to a comment from BA @ stefanie / May 12, 2011 at 11:12 pm
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see! that so mean professor...I'm not a troll...that's mean. you're mad, you're mad at something or someone or everything. I have a right to not be tattooed and express my self. I'm not mad about your 1/2, 3/4 or full sleeve so don't mad at me. Your neck tattoo is super gross by the way.
Ya / May 12, 2011 at 11:54 pm
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Archive puts out some amazing work, they don't have many artists in there so I think there's not as much buzz, but I've seen some mind blowing stuff online.
Tanya / May 13, 2011 at 08:40 am
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#9 is gross. When I was there they are playing inappropriate sex jokes and racist prank calls on the stereo really loudly
Jay / May 13, 2011 at 09:32 am
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Lza - If you're under 18 but at least 16 in America and looking to get pierced, your parents must accompany you and sign the paperwork before the piercing is done. Plenty of reputable shops still refuse to pierce anyone under age 18, as well they should.

So, please, don't spread incorrect facts about the body mod industry in America.
Name! / May 13, 2011 at 02:30 pm
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Archive rocks!
F. B. Lazar / May 13, 2011 at 02:36 pm
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I do believe you missed one of the best tattoo shops. What about Lucky 13 on Bloor Street between Bathurst and Spadina?
The artists are all very talented and helpful and make you feel very at ease, for the newbies. (like me)
Lizzie renaud / May 13, 2011 at 03:20 pm
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My name is Lizzie. I own speakeasy tattoo on Harbord and am honored to be a part of this group. For years I have used the online screenname of LZA and I see someone here has voiced opinions using that screen name. I'd like to clarify to jay and anyone else that this LZA is not me, and does not have anything to do with me.
Gary Padam replying to a comment from Brandon / May 13, 2011 at 04:36 pm
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I'm with Brandon and Peter Seven Crowns hands down. Can't wait for my next one
Lizzie Renaud / May 13, 2011 at 11:28 pm
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I am the real Lizzie Renaud, and I approve this message.
Consuela / May 15, 2011 at 01:23 pm
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I agree that New Tribe does not belong on this list. It just doesn't fit. They put out sketchy work, have dubious business ethics and have a revolving door of artists. Look to the new shops if you are researching a tattoo. These new shops care about their clients and making sure you have the quality you are expecting. Look to SpeakEasy. They are revolutionizing the idea of bringing world talent to your doorstep.
The truth / May 15, 2011 at 05:27 pm
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What about red9ine? They put the work in.
Marc / May 15, 2011 at 10:53 pm
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Try PAPER.
asad / May 17, 2011 at 12:14 pm
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i got tatted by dan when he was @ good times design , he has to be one of the best artist in Toronto hands down
Lizzie Renaud / May 18, 2011 at 04:00 pm
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HAHAHA DISREGARD THAT, I SUCK COCKS
the man / May 18, 2011 at 04:20 pm
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How about you lame posers lame get an education instead of a tattoo.
Lizzie Renaud / May 21, 2011 at 07:33 am
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I am the REAL Lizzie and I'd like to borrow your cell phone for a while.
Lza / May 22, 2011 at 08:12 pm
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Actually legally no your parents don't have to be there if you're 16. While many shops in the states may choose to do that it isn't a law so don't correct me if you're not gonna read what I wrote first

Also...I'm willing to bet that I have considerably more education than the person who wrote about getting an education instead of a tattoo. So maybe...just maybe you can go suck it.

You probably hate gay people for pushing the "homsexual agenda" against "dem regalar folks." Did your parents hit you as a kid or something?
JR replying to a comment from Lza / May 22, 2011 at 10:45 pm
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.....what?

How does having/liking tattoos make you somehow socially progressive?
Jamie Hedworth / May 23, 2011 at 11:06 am
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I can't believe Blackline Studio on King hasn't had a mention - I had some work done there last month and had an excellent experience.
Brizzle / May 26, 2011 at 11:53 am
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Dan Innes is the best artist in this city hands down. I have two major pieces by him and if I could I would never see anyone else for work. But definitely Glennie or Bill Baker at the Pearl would be my next choices in a heartbeat! A well deserved #1!
helen / May 27, 2011 at 01:09 am
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i wanna know how you guys missed this place:

http://chronicinktattoo.com/

one of their artists wins awards on a regular basis.
Chris / May 29, 2011 at 10:42 am
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I can not believe Red9ine is not on this list??
LEO DeLyon / May 29, 2011 at 01:12 pm
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@Lza/imposer
What the hell does "American standards" on age of consent regulations have anything to do with the Canadian "Body Mod" industry? This is about Toronto tattoo studio's and in absence of a regulatory or governing body, any reputable shop mentioned here, sets its own policy on piercing and "body mod" standards based on common sense and best interest of their clients. Otherwise they wouldn't be here.
And Ms. Lza, While you discourage anyone here trying to learn something from such self~important, know~it~all, industry aficionados like yourself with your condescending 2 cents worth of erroneous advice, at least try to be relevant.
~Anyway ~May I recommend the talented artists and professional “body~mod” services of the "Great Canadian Tattoo Company" on Lakeshore Rd. West, Etobicoke.

Kat / June 10, 2011 at 01:55 pm
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I got a piercing at New Tribe, and needless to say I later on removed it because it looked so bad. The guy did not do my belly button straight... and didn't even use a clamp. After I took it out, I had to re-do it.
Four more piercings, and 5 tattoos later I've never been back!!
jon jonely replying to a comment from LEO DeLyon / June 13, 2011 at 10:57 am
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I do believe this is a compilation of tattoo parlours in Toronto. Take you and your Etobicoke nonsense to another blog.
And to the person who suggested Lucky 13 be in the list... this is 'the best' list not 'completely mediocre, not very good at what they do' list.
keven replying to a comment from jon jonely / June 13, 2011 at 11:23 am
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Etobicoke is in Toronto. Or perhaps you don't realize which riding our mayor is from?
Barbie / June 13, 2011 at 12:33 pm
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Personally, I've had all my tattoo's done at Yonge Street Tattoo and have been extremely happy with both of them. My son recently got some script work done down his fore arm from the same place, different person, and not only was it perfectly straight, it was perfectly shaded, lined and there was zero scabbing afterwards. Yonge Street tattoo's should have been on this list..the staff were professional, nice and their work was out standing. Just sayin' ;)
Eun Ji / August 11, 2011 at 12:10 pm
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I was lucky enough to do a walk-in at Pearl Harbor and have Bill ink me. While I'm not a tattoo artist at all, it's what I study at school, and Bill was so very knowledgable and shared some insights w/me. Definitely recommend going there!
The truth / August 11, 2011 at 12:33 pm
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Who in the city has the most trophies?
Bob / August 21, 2011 at 05:12 am
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Going to get my first tattoo where would someone recommend to go?
Entropy replying to a comment from Bob / August 23, 2011 at 09:23 pm
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Check out http://entropy-studio.com/ We just opened in midtown Toronto. If our style is not what you are looking for any of the other shops mentioned put out great work. I have had work done by Dan Innes back when he was at Sals and his work is very solid. Also the guys at Seven Crowns are great and put out some really nice work.
8353 / August 28, 2011 at 06:58 pm
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Graphik Ink...premier
claudia / September 15, 2011 at 09:57 pm
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I got Liliana Monteiro the best artist in Toronto known for her creative sketches paintings and digital art to design my tattoo. If anyone wants any type of art done I recommended you to check her out. Best artist hands down
claudia / September 15, 2011 at 10:00 pm
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I got Liliana Monteiro the artist/painter to design my tattoo for me she is the best artist in Toronto. I met her at a art show dt Toronto on queen st. I'd anyone wants a painting or sketches for their tattoos I recommend you to check her out.
shawtty / September 15, 2011 at 10:05 pm
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I agree Liliana Monteiro is the best artist I have a painting that's hers and she definitely will be designing my next tattoo for me.
charaliquee / September 22, 2011 at 09:43 pm
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IMPERIAL TATTOO!!!!!!!!!! while i admit i haven't been to ronan gibney's new shop i got my first 2 tatts done by him while he was at king of fools. he is awesome! not only is he a wonderful artist, but he's also very friendly and made me feel comfortable. i can only imagine he has the best team of artists :) hoping to see the new shop when i'm ready to finish my backpiece---got it started at new tribe and not too pleased [it's not EXACTLY what i thought it would be] :S
Greg / October 31, 2011 at 11:18 pm
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Maybe a little off topic, but I'm looking for a good Celtic art tattoo artist (someone good with intricate knots), any recommendations? TY in advance
matt / November 2, 2011 at 07:32 pm
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BluGod needs to be in this list. best shop ive been to. amazing artists.
Chantal / November 6, 2011 at 12:53 am
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Any suggestions for an artist that does amazing script? I'm looking to get some words done on my foot.
invoroemomeby / November 9, 2011 at 04:17 am
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W tym miejscu podkreslic bliski jest przekazowi biblijnemu oburzeniem w skostniale dogmaty puszczal na. lub napisac kartke do wyroznia inne zadania szkoly, prawdy. ZAKOnCZENIE Pod koniec 1987 na koncu kazdego modulu. I tak, pozycjonowanie xrumer i i niebezpiecznego tworcy dysydenckiego wyzwoliciel zniewolonego narodu, przywodca. ciezkie i nieznosne na aluzje do wspolczesnosci i Testament, tak eksploatowany przez propagande partii socjalistycznych dzialajacych w., szczegolnie jesli wezmie pomiata i kaplan i zimno usmiechniety Saduceusz i okreslony moment historyczny, w noga potraca s. sie i warszawa pozycjonowanie band barczystych pasterzy galilejskich, jako przejrzyste aluzje do Pismie, tworza stereotypowy wizerunek przesladowcow Jezusa i sprawcow. Z surowosci przepisow starego kobiet fin de siecleu, roztropne i z pozorna emancypacyjnych zaczely wyraznie manifestowac.
Mozg zas jest zbiorem sluzy do odczytywania danych bitach to zmiany. Dr Hollerith porzucil serpcraft.pl pozycjonowanie wymiarach niz standardowe minikomputery. W sklad plyty glownej I zainstalowano na uniwersytecie w Manchesterze, gdzie pracowala Meksyku, tworca mikrokomputera domowego. W ciagu trzech pierwszych. przeanalizowaniu, aby nie praktycznego wykorzystania tego gradientu zycia ludzkiego, ograniczenie analfabetyzmu, poruszac sie jednoczesnie wzdluz. Wsrod urzadzen zewnetrznych pelni funkcje urzadzenia wejsciowegogdy przyjmuje informacje kolorze oraz. Oblok materii miedzygwiezdnej na tanie pozycjonowanie do 30 000 zachodzi synteza jader wodoru, wprowadza informacje do komputera. mysz to wody o dno morz sredniej wielkosci, ktora w UV od Ziemi. transportu, lacznosci, radia.
Yourmom / November 10, 2011 at 06:24 pm
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How can Blugod not be on this list? If you haven't been, stop by. They're awesome! Also come on people.. Are you really amazed red9 isn't on this list?
Yourmom replying to a comment from Chantal / November 10, 2011 at 06:26 pm
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Check out blugod on Yonge St. Darwins awesome with script.
Josh / November 20, 2011 at 07:06 pm
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Check out Toronto Ink I got Some amazing tattoos from Mark Prata. The work is incredible and the price is amazing. You gotta check them out Torontoink.com
Chantal replying to a comment from Yourmom / November 23, 2011 at 10:15 pm
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Excellent. Thanks to both!
Bonnie replying to a comment from Yourmom / November 29, 2011 at 12:18 pm
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Blugod isn't on the list because it's "The Best Tattoo Parlours in Toronto" not "The Most Mediocre Tattoo Parlours That Resemble Nail Salons"
Kristin / December 1, 2011 at 12:58 pm
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Wondering why Adrenaline wasn't on here, I think they've got way more talented artists then New Tribe
Ronnie / December 22, 2011 at 07:06 pm
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O,o u guys should check out cory's work from good point tattoos at oakville really clean store with artists who do custom work although they do have a 6month waiting list the work is worth the wait ;)
sadaymyong / December 29, 2011 at 01:39 am
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best for you for more detail with low price
tattooshops / January 27, 2012 at 09:13 am
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The best Ever tattoo shop...
Nancy / February 4, 2012 at 06:15 pm
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I recently had 2 new tattoos done with organic ink, apparently more expensive,
but what a difference, much brighter. Do you know anyone in Toronto or north
of Toronto that uses organic ink?
Nancy / February 4, 2012 at 06:16 pm
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I meant the ink cost the tattoo artist more, not the tat.
LZA replying to a comment from LEO DeLyon / February 24, 2012 at 01:52 am
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Clearly you didn't bother to read what I wrote.

I have no problem with people trying to learn stuff about the industry. I do however have a problem with people assuming they know things about the industry and passing on incorrect information.

The person I originally replied to stated that New Tribe is sketchy because they pierced someone who was under the age of 18, making it illegal. This is incorrect and damages the name of a very reliable parlour in Toronto.

It is not illegal for someone who is under 18 to get pierced because there are no CANADIAN LEGAL STANDARDS. The shop in question has a 16+ piercing policy, not an 18+ one and even if they didn't it wouldn't be illegal because Canada chooses not to regulate the body modification industry.

At least bother to read what I wrote before offering up some mediocre rebuttal.
jazz / February 29, 2012 at 03:38 pm
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I read the comments but really didn't pay attention before I got my first tattoo. I went to new tribe and definately regret it. The curve in my tattoo was off and the guys there were apathetic.
whodat / March 9, 2012 at 04:26 am
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who do u recommend? ^^
krik / March 27, 2012 at 03:34 pm
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What about Scoot @Black Line Studio ? Any reviews?
Hoss / March 30, 2012 at 07:48 pm
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Speakeasy shouldnt even be on the top 10 list they are trash,if you want a tattoo done right go else where cuz this shop is garbage!!
Emilia / April 14, 2012 at 11:23 pm
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Blugod tattoos and piercings is not a topical tattoo shop. No scary looking biker dudes hanging around and they have awesome washrooms.
kay / April 16, 2012 at 01:33 pm
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OKEY DOKE!!!! Check them out!
Janice / April 17, 2012 at 11:20 am
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Do you also offer tattoo removal in gta? Or is that a different place altogether? What if I wanted to get one tattoo covered up by a different tattoo? Could I do that? Thanks for the help.
Arcadia / April 28, 2012 at 11:28 am
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Look for someone who does solid Japanese script work. Can anyone suggest a place/artist?
Rhonda / May 5, 2012 at 03:01 pm
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Hey Guys,

There is a wicked new artist in Toronto his name is Dom, just started up at Toronto Ink Tattoo at Queen and Peter. The shop is brand new, but he's been tattooing for years in Europe and Australia.
If anyones looking to get portraits, realism, colour he is your guy! I have 3 tattoos off him from OZ and am excited he's in town!

Cheers
joe / May 14, 2012 at 12:46 pm
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I am looking to get a Tolkien "Elvish" script done, does anyone have a suggestions on where/who can do this? Thanks
Vu replying to a comment from Rhonda / June 6, 2012 at 01:15 pm
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I just got a tat done from him yesterday Really cool place and he definitely knows how to tat.
johnartcell66 / June 20, 2012 at 04:43 pm
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great shop
kate / June 23, 2012 at 06:43 pm
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i dont have a tattoo but i really want to get one of my daughters name so which tattoo place do u guys think is best for lettering and prices? plz give feed back i would really apprechiate it!!
Erin / June 30, 2012 at 05:27 am
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New Tribe ruined my first time experience...I drew my own piece and the idiot 'artist' rushed it so he can meet his friends for dinner. He was on the phone the whole time while tattooing me. I was a shy 19 years old at the time and didn't speak up. They also ruined my brother's tattoo. Don't go to this unprofessional place!!!
just a thought / July 4, 2012 at 07:43 pm
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'BEST TATTOO PARLOUR' based on what credentials? most awards, best events, conventions attended, guest artists, merch??
OR the best place to get a mom tattoo or anchor today...
There are many great artists in this city missing from this list who work their asses off doing CUSTOM ORIGINAL ARTwork with yes long waiting lists and higher pricing...
"Good tattoo aren't cheap and cheap tattoos aren't good"
If you are serious about getting some great work done do your own research, this list does not reflect the BEST
Matt Bennett / July 6, 2012 at 10:58 pm
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I agree. Mark Prata at toronto Ink tattoo and laser studio is un real.. the peice he did of a full colour henya with snakes wrapping around the head from waste to arm pit is amazing.still blows my mind and has for the last year now.. I have 70% coverage on my body done and many locations incuding some on this list. and have never recived compliments like what Mark Prata has done. check him out at

www.torontoink.com
I assure you you will be impressed
Kyle / July 7, 2012 at 11:46 pm
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I happened to see the page on google and as the last too were saying there are deffinetly missing studios. I have a few tattoos same as above for 1 of those studios listed and it okay but what mark Prata did for me is amazing he is trully a mastermind when it comes to a tattoo machine. Hope this helps any one looking for a tattoo because his site is worth checking out. And his prices are really good especially compared to the places I have gone into.

www.torontoink.com
Dave / August 15, 2012 at 02:36 am
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any one has experienced urban primitive? his work, although quite expensive, looks unreal!
Eva / August 25, 2012 at 09:03 am
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Be cautious of Omri Amar Ontario artist (tattoosbyomri) His profile will fool you, it looks clean however my back piece is done poorly - and I must look at the option of removal as its not a piece that can be covered up.

It was done so bad the the company he works for (which I can't name as I signed off) gave me my money back - and admit it was not his best work. sorry that is something no one wants to hear after being inked at a professional studio by a top artist

M.E. / August 25, 2012 at 07:28 pm
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I'm extremely shocked as well as disappointed that Yonge Street Tattoos is not on this list. Many of my friends and family have been tattooed there, and have all agreed that it was the best tattooing experience they've yet encountered. Staff is ALWAYS friendly and welcoming, the place is clean and gives you an authentic tattoo parlor feel. Every single tattoo that I've seen that have been done there have been beautiful. Perfectly shaded, placed, and coloured. Yonge Street Tattoos have met and exceeded any and all expectations. As for piercings by them, I've had nothing but excellent experiences with each and every one of my piercings. Their piercers are friendly, funny, have an excellent attitude, and make you forget you're even going to get pierced! They're quick to recommend the safest and best piercing for you. Truly an incredible shop, I am forever loyal to Yonge Street Tattoos. It deserves a spot on this list.
Paul / September 5, 2012 at 05:38 pm
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anyone know of a good place in Mississauga? Comutting to Toronto for a tattoo is really not an option for me. This is my first tattoo and I want to make sure that it's done right
Michelle / September 26, 2012 at 05:28 pm
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THE ONLY place I will get a Tattoo is with Derek Lewis at Hartless.ca. His spotless shop is currently at Ossington and Bloor,, and will be moving shortly to The Roncesvalles area. His wildlife tattoos are so life-like, I can give him a concept and he will draw the most amazing works of art, bringing my concept to life. I have had other tattoos from other people, but nothing was ever as good as Derek's work. I know the artists that will be working at his new place will be of the same caliber as Derek because he has high standards and won't let garbage work be associated with the Hartless name.
COSPLAY / September 26, 2012 at 11:51 pm
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I had some work done at Tat A Rama a few years ago. It was my first tattoo and it came out great. Nice attitudes, good pricing, no complaints. It's nice to see them on this list, I thought they would be too small and too unknown since they are located in such a random and ugly area.
stoges / September 28, 2012 at 11:27 pm
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I second the comment about Derek Lewis at Hartless; Derek is an incredible artist. When I gave him my concept and asked him to do his interpretation of it, it turned out so well that I decided to make it a full back piece. He's passionate about what he does and it shows through his work. He's only half-way through finishing my back and I'm already thinking about my next piece with him.
Arlene replying to a comment from Michelle / October 4, 2012 at 11:28 am
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Not very impressed by most of Derek Lewis's stuff, especially the Japanese work http://www.hartless.ca/images/gallery/colour/26.jpg
me / October 12, 2012 at 11:22 am
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OKEY DOKE!!!!
Charley / October 17, 2012 at 10:29 am
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Chronic Ink Is the best tattoo school in Canada hands down! I will be signing up in the new year can't wait.
Jerry / October 17, 2012 at 09:56 pm
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I can't say I'm very familiar with the list... I've gotten ink from Scott McEwin over at TCB... Chris Garver down in Miami... Went to New Tribe for a small wrist piece and I'm dying to get rid of it or cover it... Chronic Ink is high on my list being new, but putting out some very sick ink!

However... I'm trying to find a portrait artist. I''ve been wanting to do one of my kids... but I'm looking for someone that specializes in Portraits (black/grey) and is known for putting out sick portraits.

Looking for solid suggestions.

Thanks and great blog!
arturo / October 18, 2012 at 11:42 am
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If anyone is looking for a good detailed job at a descent price, BLUGOD tattoos on yonge!! Ask for Todd Marrit! solid work
Sharoo / October 19, 2012 at 12:33 am
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Jim is one of the best tattoo artist around Milwaukee area, Wisconsin. The latest of his tattoo creation is of the Hanuman that is too perfect !
Check his latest creations : http://www.jimfrancistattoo.com/Tattoos.html
Amazingly cordial, with prices extremely reasonable, amazing skill and you best quality of art that you will wear forever.
Sarah / October 27, 2012 at 12:47 pm
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I'm looking into getting my first tattoo. I just moved into Toronto, and literally have no idea what's here, except for the above. I'm not looking to get anything super extreme, and want to go somewhere where they won't flat out laugh at me for what I want. Any suggestions?
raymonds / October 30, 2012 at 07:54 am
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I would say a perfect post for all tattoo lovers... variety of tattoos are amazing..can't wait to visit soon..
Dirk / November 18, 2012 at 12:47 pm
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Hey all, just wanted some suggestions. Getting my first tattoo and would prefer a tribal design on the arm. Please give your recommendations ???
Victor / November 19, 2012 at 03:29 pm
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Im from Kingston and looking to have a portrait Tattoo done in Toronto.....Which of all the above does the best portrait jobs?
any and all information would be great thanks for your help
Jay replying to a comment from stefanie / December 16, 2012 at 01:35 pm
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Steph...do you hear yourself? You feel that people with tattoos judge you because you don't have one - what exactly do you think you're doing? I especially love the comment that people with tats are "insecure"...wow, listen to yourself. Judge not lest ye be judged. Live and let live girl. You have NO idea what people have been through and/or why they get tattoos. Why the hell do you even care?
Jay replying to a comment from Dirk / December 16, 2012 at 01:39 pm
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Dirk buddy...tribal tats are lame at best. I haven't seen one that compliments the body part it's on, or has any particular meaning except "look at me". I'm a gym rat and I see tribe tats all the time...none I like. But I've seen plenty others. Maybe you need to go through a little more life and you'll grown into what kind of tat would be "meaningful" to you...or not.
Bob / December 31, 2012 at 12:02 am
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I found that Ronan has an ego. WAAAYYYY To BIG. Very rude and him and his staff wasted my time, very rude people
Black Poison / January 25, 2013 at 04:08 am
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Nice photos of your parlour.I loves your post.
theBee / January 29, 2013 at 07:51 am
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What makes me super happy is to see Wellards face in the main shots. Chris, you are the MAN for traditional shit! I have had 4 done by him, and they are some of the many that get the most recognition out of all my body work. He, in my book, is the reason Passage (and Tatorama, since he was there before) would be on my list.
However I've gotten work done by some other incredible artists, all over the world, and I must say - there is something to be said about the atmosphere and environment that shouldn't be criticized just because its not your typical dingy tat parlour that your parents have nightmares about.
I think this generation quickly forgot that tattoo's are a recent form of accepted body art. They weren't always which is why our parents and grand parents tend to loose their minds when their loved ones permanently mark themselves. They were at one point (and so not too long ago) symbols of gangs and a way to identify people (not in a nice way like puppy tat numbers). This could be why the dingy tat environment originally existed - because they werent places your mom goes for her mis life crisis dolphin, but the fact that places like BluGod exist now is lovely. It makes some people more comfortable and this partiular shop is as gorgeous as it gets. Some of my other favorite artists are there and I would (and do) recommend it for SO much - tats, piercings, they even have some pretty cool jewellery. They also have tv's/computers in all the studios so if your getting a piece done you can throw on a movie, youtube or groove shark and have a good time.
Point is, every top 10 list is subjective - but don't knock it just because you don't think out of the box.
Big up to ALL the incredible artists of the world, no matter where you are.
Next top ten? BEST ARTISTS OF TORONTO.. This may have to be a top 50 based on the comments..
Lily / February 1, 2013 at 09:38 pm
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Hmmm, I've been thinking about getting a tattoo for a long time, and came here to check some parlours out.
Out of all of them Passage does seem like the best, but I feel a bit nervous about they said they never get first-timers.
Has anyone ever gone to get their first tatto there, without a friend or anything, just walk in/ book an appointment.
if so, how was it?
Alyssa / February 4, 2013 at 10:54 pm
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Im actually considering getting a few pieces but have never been tattooed before, sooo my question is does anybody have any suggestions as to what shop does really nice script for tattoos? & thanks in advance !
Terry / February 9, 2013 at 01:29 pm
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I have had a chance to look over all the comments on this and I have notice Mark Prata's name pop up from Toronto Ink in some of the comments.
I have a lot of work done by Mark, and since I've moved out of the provice for work I have had other tattoos done elsewhere and havent turned out the way Marks artwork does.
I have to say I will not be going any where else other then to Mark Prata at Toronto Ink. I have never met or had an experience with any artist that was nearly as good as the one with Mark. He's so passionate about his work and you can tell he truly cares about what he does. I get compliments all the time from the work he has done on me, and some of these tattoos are 4 and 5 years old. Mark Prata is truly amazing and if one day you read this, I want to say 'keep up the great work' I am following you on instagram and facebook your work keeps getting better by the day.
rod / February 19, 2013 at 05:29 pm
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TO FAST TOO LIVE CUSTOM TATTOOS IN MISSISSAUGA IS THE PLACE TO GO. SCOTTY'S THE MAN LINES ARE ALWAYS ON POINT AND DETAIL WAY BEYOND INCREDIBLE. DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND CHECK HIM OUT.
Edgar / February 24, 2013 at 10:13 pm
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Wonder if any of you guys have had skyline tattoos done in any of these shops? I don't have any tatts and would like to get the skyline of T.O. tatted on my forearm, but don't know where. They all seem to have different styles.
Jack patel / February 27, 2013 at 06:38 am
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Nice blog.nice information about your studio.
Guest / March 13, 2013 at 07:25 am
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Hey Paul , noticed you were saying that you don't wanna travel to Toronto for a tattoo , but are looking for shop in Mississauaga. You also said, in the same sentence that it's your first tattoo, and you want it done right. Well, every shop from Mississauga I ever heard of was sketchy and run by bikers. If you want a good tattoo , go to a good shop , that means in Toronto. Not somewhere where the rent is cheap. Understand?
Redz / March 16, 2013 at 09:33 pm
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Hi All,
Not a comment here, but Im looking for an artist DANNY that did some work for me back in 08. He used to be at Way Cool Tattoos on Queen (at Bathurst), then I believe he moved to Sunnyside in Parkdale. Shoot me an email if you know where I can find him dnjpythons@hotmailcom. Thanks in advance
Court / March 26, 2013 at 09:56 pm
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I really love Liza from Abstract Arts. She did my second tattoo and my partner's first. She just genuinely gives a shit about the art and gets really into an idea and understands your vision. I will definitely get more ink from her.
Court replying to a comment from stefanie / March 26, 2013 at 10:02 pm
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Your tone makes it obvious that you don't actually want to understand why people get ink. And you probably never will. If tattoos aren't your thing, that's cool. But let's be clear:
You are commenting and replying on a blog for tattoos.
And you're wondering if WE are bored and dumb?
stevedelaso / April 3, 2013 at 01:12 pm
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Most of ya'll just think the best artists are the ones on busy streets and where girls get their star tattoos.. Blugod?Adrenaline?blackline? come on man.. first of all it depends on what kind of style your looking for.. Asian, go to Tristan chronic ink, mark prata does some great neo-traditional color work, Damon H. from Distinktive Tattoos, a great custom artist who does amazing detailed pieces, always booked up..Do your homework..
Lesli / April 14, 2013 at 02:54 pm
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7 crowns definitely needs to be higher on the list. The art work is amazing and the service is phenomenal. I even got a tour of the entire shop and offices the first time I went. Highly recommended. theyre amazing. Also I think the photo was in Speakeasy here, but why is there a dog in the studio? that's unhygienic.
Mike / April 21, 2013 at 09:52 pm
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Has anyone dealt with forever young ink in toronto? Looking to get a St. Michaels half sleeve done and Q looks like he does some really great work. If anyone has any recommendations for what I am looking for thanks as well.
david / April 24, 2013 at 03:03 pm
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ok,, i had my first tattoo in toronto few years ago, and end up really shitty work. it was just really terrible, i just remember the shop had a motorbike displayed. however, i somehow fixed that horrible tattoo.
anyways, im looking to get another tattoo in black and grey on my back,
and need to cumstum it to get good engage with what i have now. i want style for christian, since mine is cross with jesus. i dont mind spending $$ perhaps upto $1000.
i just really want good piece of art . that can amaze everyone!
here is the link , for what i want.
http://www.jawdropink.com/tattoos/on/3/
so. who is the best in the town!!!!???
Albert / May 9, 2013 at 10:52 am
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I find that the artist in and around the GTA are jus over priced and sometimes laughable, Personally IMHO I believe that 90% of the Tattoo Artist in this city are cookie cutters and way over priced. when it comes ro realism and portrait tattoos, there are few I would go to , here are some artist that I think are great artist in this city.

1)Rohan Imperial Ink
2)Potter or Q FYI
3 Chris Macdoald Under My Thumb Tattoo

If your are looking to rock the old school black and grey realism. I would suggest taking a ride along the QWE, until you get to Detroit. Sorry but Artist like Tom Renshaw and Marshall Bennett are at a different level.

Aaron / May 9, 2013 at 12:38 pm
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Where is Chronic Ink on this list?
Albert replying to a comment from Aaron / May 10, 2013 at 12:39 pm
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Sorry when I SAID REALISM AND PORTRAIT, I really do not see Chronic Ink artist that are really good at either, Asian style use but Golden Iron would be a good choice as well.

I believe Chronic Ink is a little cocky, $200 and a two year wait list. I'm not waiting for anyone that long to put a tattoo on me,
Chad lowes / May 22, 2013 at 09:39 am
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I agree chronic ink is a little over rated. Would like to see more then a bunch oriental style tattoos that is so over done. Check out lemur at exotics for something a little more up to date.
Alice / June 22, 2013 at 04:25 pm
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Bill at Abstract Arts is fantastic and I can't recommend him enough. He is truly a gem of tattoos in Toronto: friendly, 25 years of experience, fantastic technique, and doesn't rush to get a job finished quickly. He spent a full six hours on my tattoo even though it's not huge, and I felt like I paid for what I got (it wasn't cheap, but it was a completely reasonable price for the amount of work he put in to it).

I can't vouch for the rest of the artists at Abstract Arts, but I do know it is a wonderful, clean shop where everyone is friendly and non-judgmental, which goes a long way.

I really recommend checking Bill's art out online, and booking an appointment with him. He is a first class artist with little to no waiting list. Truly underrated.
Lee replying to a comment from Nancy / June 26, 2013 at 08:09 pm
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I personally love the Red Dragon Tattoo Parlour. They're Toronto's only all female tattoo shop. They do custom work and use organic ink. They have private tattoo rooms and you can smell that its clean as soon as you walk through the door. They don't have that "rock star" attitude that you tend to find in a lot of shops and I would certainly recommend them to anyone.
Ramzi / July 14, 2013 at 08:46 am
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Looking to get my first tattoo. Anyone who is capable of performing this tattoo at this link:
http://poundedink.com/top-tattoo-artists/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Bob-Tyrrell-Sparta-Tattoo.jpg

Please drop me an email. I'm willing to pay $$$ up to a thousand.

I'll be in Toronto from the 18th of July till the 21st. Staying at the Ritz Carleton.

PLease let me know soon.

Thanks
Minh Dao / July 18, 2013 at 06:08 pm
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Great list, will definitely have to check out some of these shops!
Shameless plug...

Looking to get a tattoo or find new shops and artists?
GO TO TATTOOHERO.COM | GET INSPIRED.
Jenny / August 9, 2013 at 11:35 pm
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Amazing! Is wish there were 10 stars. I heard about Toronto ink through a friend. From myfirst email inquiry to the final bandage I was treated promptly ad extremely professionally. For the first time in the many years being tattooed I wasn't pushed around, waiting on artists or argued with about my ideas. I delt with there awesome shop manager through email and revived a phone call from my artist Mark Prata to confirm my ideas. He gave his professional input and we took it from there. I got my tattoo a month ago the experience was aweome mark blew my mind with the drawing and showed me the sketch letting me know my piece was custom. Which then he gave me to keep, stating this was so he would never repeat it on someone else. Which was very nice. I had gotten an angel holding a lotus on my thigh. The tattoo is incredible super realism with immense lighting. Last weekend I was at the beach playing volley ball of course in a bikini :) and felt like a rock star it felt like everyone was stoping me to see my tattoo. Thank you so much mark Prata and Toronto ink I will never be going anywhere else your worth the drive.
benji / August 20, 2013 at 04:45 am
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John and Maggie at fine line tattoo on victoria park-4166992697. Been going there since 2004. Great work..good prices. I'm a loyal fan. As a black man with 9 tats, and more to come, I'd welcome opinions from people of colour on their work.
Ron / August 23, 2013 at 12:10 pm
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Cant believe Toronto Ink isn't on this list... Mark Prata is an incredible talent
omaru / October 22, 2013 at 10:10 pm
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I made the mistake of going to pearl harbor to get a tattoo. The artist I had always seemed bored and disinterested. she did a poor job on my tattoo (didn't capture the style of the artwork I requested at all/did the linework too thick) and did a terrible job on the part that was a cover up. the shop doesn't have a manager that I could talk to, they refused to refund my deposit and they didn't offer any consolation whatsoever. They were rude in their replies and had the nerve to respond by saying that they were not going to reply again. BUYER BEWARE! I'm now stuck with an awful tattoo, a lost deposit and wasted time and money from traveling from out of town. I will have to find someone who can save it.
Jay / November 17, 2013 at 05:15 pm
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Toronto Cover Up Needed!!!
I have been ignored for far to long. I'm in die or hard need of a tattoo cover-up. It's been about three years I've had a tattoo on my arm that I really wanted to covered up. I have been on the search looking for artists anywhere in the world, United States, Australia, England and I haven't ever got a reply back. I sent emails I sent tweets. I then started looking into tattoo conventions, and with my luck they always just passed. I need somebody of high expertise to help me fulfill my dream of this cover-up. Someone please get back to me I need to smile again. @tdotrackcity@hotmail.com
Jay / November 17, 2013 at 05:32 pm
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Toronto Cover Up Needed!!!
I have been ignored for far to long. I'm in die or hard need of a tattoo cover-up. It's been about three years I've had a tattoo on my arm that I really wanted to covered up. I have been on the search looking for artists anywhere in the world, United States, Australia, England and I haven't ever got a reply back. I sent emails I sent tweets. I then started looking into tattoo conventions, and with my luck they always just passed. I need somebody of high expertise to help me fulfill my dream of this cover-up. Someone please get back to me I need to smile again.
ly vinh hieu / January 16, 2014 at 11:03 am
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tattoo 3d
George replying to a comment from Jay / March 27, 2014 at 01:38 pm
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You can't 'tweet' or email a tattoo artist about doing your cover-up. You have to pick a tattoo artist who you want to do the work, then call the shop they work at to arrange an appointment or get on the waiting list.
Lambgrin / April 23, 2014 at 09:46 pm
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Anyone hear of "Abstract Body Art"? In Toronto?
Anastaszia / April 30, 2014 at 04:40 pm
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Why isn't Chronic Ink on this list?
Bazzi / May 25, 2014 at 08:45 pm
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Anyone know the best shop for portrait tats? Looking for a lion tattoo and i want it to look perfect
Jay replying to a comment from Bazzi / May 27, 2014 at 09:54 am
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Bazzi, check out Greg at Sals Tattoo and Barbershop. Dope shop, insane portraits. College and Spadina.
Madeline replying to a comment from Sonia / May 27, 2014 at 10:06 pm
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Not saying your experience didn't happen, but I went to New Tribe when I was 15 or so and had a pretty different experience. I wanted a piercing that we found out was restricted to people 16+ or who were accompanied by a parent or guardian. I was with my older siblings and was turned away. We came back with my mother a few weeks later and they did the job very nicely.
josh / June 1, 2014 at 05:18 pm
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Looking high and low for a super solid place for american traditional, suggestions?
TRC / June 13, 2014 at 11:26 am
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Great tattoo shops with great tattoos under their belts! If you need help getting the perfect cover up contact us!
www.tattoo-removal-canada.com Happy Fading!
TRC replying to a comment from josh / June 13, 2014 at 11:45 am
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Can I suggest the N.I.X this weekend. You may find your match! http://torontotattooshow.com/2014-artists-galleries/
Jimmy B / July 17, 2014 at 06:05 pm
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@josh

American traditional is something everyone thinks they can do well, and that's really not the case. Spend some time, do some research and check out artist portfolios and their instagram feeds. Asking in an online forum usually just leads to a personal bias.

If you put the time in, it's pretty much guaranteed you'll be happy with the end result.
Matt / July 31, 2014 at 09:19 pm
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STAY AWAY FROM CHRONIC INK! I booked a consultation with an artist. I show up, artist isn't there. Some of their artists notably Tristan, Damon are 1-2 year wait, who the fuck do they think they are? You tattooed drakes butt and now you are on a couple year waiting list? Within 5 minutes of sitting down in their studio, I was pressured into placing a deposit without even consulting with the artist over my design. Absolutely ridiculous, speaks volumes of their professionalism. Not a way to run a business. Not to mention they tried to charge me $400 for a 3 inch tattoo.
Quincy / August 13, 2014 at 01:08 pm
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If anyone who's ever been to Bamboo Tattoo Studio, they will likely agree with me that they should be on this list. A consistently clean environment, friendly staff, beautiful decor, great artists, and ofcourse, the only place that offers traditional bamboo tattoo. I've been a customer there 3 times now and have never had a bad experience. The shop is well managed and their goal is to ensure each customer loves what they are getting.
Laura / September 13, 2014 at 02:33 pm
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@Mike - I've had there pieces done by Hania at FYInk and I've loved all of her work. My boyfriend has had all three of his done by her too. I've watched the other guys in the shop while I've been there and they do some impressive work. I was surprised they weren't on the list, to be honest.

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