North York Ink
North York Ink is a friendly tattoo ink parlour for tattoos of all styles and piercings done by pros.
Discreetly located in the strip of businesses across from Yonge Sheppard Centre, the shop sits on the second floor, directly above The Fry.
With eight artists operating out of the shop, walk-in appointments are available for tattoos of all types. You can get everything here from Asian traditional and back pieces to floral designs and itty-bitty finger tats. North York Ink first started in 2015 as a one-man operation, with owner Ben Chen working out of a windowless basement shop beneath a now-closed Tea Shop 168 for the first three years.
Expanding to this 1,400-square-foot former VR shop — with its own photo booth area and an impressive skylight — is a big upgrade.
There are five chairs in which you can sit back and get your dream sleeve or commemorative cat tattoo.
No design is off the table, unless it's a tribal armband, in which case Chen (and many in the industry, from what Google tells me) will likely flat out say no, because they suck. Flash tattoo designs are available from Toronto artist Grin and Bare It and williamtattooist, for anyone who wants to get inked up on a whim.
There's a closed-off section for piercings, where Danika, a professional piercing instructor, does everything (except genitals—sorry, no Prince Alberts here) from septums to cartilages.
Adjacent is a staff area, where artists can work on designs.
One of the things that sets this shop apart is the notable number of charity events they've done, in particular with charities related to autism. Other tattoo shops don't seem to make it a priority, or are just too cool for school.
There's a local feel to this spot, and given a burgeoning number of tattoo parlours in the area, North York Ink's name gives it a certain sense of permanence and pride for this little stretch of Yonge.