Ink & Water
Ink & Water is a tattoo parlour specializing in contemporary art and custom work.
Tatting up clients in a space that eschews the typical hardcore, grungy feel of its industry counterparts, this parlour opts for a friendlier vibe that helps customers feel at ease while getting the ol' pigment poke.
Both owners of the parlour are OCAD grads, hence Ink & Water's interior which, overall, is pretty dreamy. From its neon signage to its soothing pink and white colour palette, this parlour is definitely an easy place for both first-timers and seasoned vets to get comfy.
Prairie Koo, a.k.a. @release852, says he and co-owner Michael Percherle wanted to build something inviting – a shop where families could come be part of the tattooing process and not feel out of place. They now also have a newer location by Eglinton Station.
Ink & Water is also more artist-focused than others; unlike many other tattoo parlours, there's two staff rooms here where artists can actually sketch or work on their designs.
They even has a foreign artist outreach program that sponsors international tattooers to come to Canada (like they did with Brazilian artist @MartiniTattoo) and provides them with a very impressive starting salary.
The upper floor is especially welcoming: there's four chairs here, where background music will likely be the latest hip hop tracks. There's even complimentary cold brew coffee on tap from Station Cold Brew.Tattoos here are a minimum spend of $100, which you can pay for via a deposit that's deducted from your final price. For every tattoo done, $5 is donated to the community arts organization Sketch, and the shop also offers non-refundable cookie fortune flash tattoos for $69.
For after-care, the store offer a series of balms from Skin Masters, a Toronto-based brand that uses all-natural ingredients like shea, calendula, and all the healthy skin vitamins from A to D.
In case you need a break from your tat sesh, head behind the tattooing area for something that will definitely get your mind off the pain: a trio of arcade games and N64 with over 1000 games each, like Mario Party, Super Smash Bros. and Street Fighter.
And if you're in need of some fresh air or a smoke, behind the store is a decently sized patio equipped with cozy wooden benches, hanging lights and tons of greenery.
The entire space is so welcoming it almost makes me want to get a tattoo just so I can hang out here for hours.
Downstairs is where you'll find vibes more akin to regular tattoo shops with louder music and an overall more grungy – but still sleek – vibe.
Though they may be most well known for their minimalist tats, the artists at Ink & Water have you covered regardless of what style you're looking for. Just keep in mind bookings need to happen as far as six months in advance – nice tats plus arcade games equals high demand.