Once the domain of sailors, Russian mobsters and Maori warriors, tattoos have become unquestionably mainstream. Even if you’re not committing to that full-neck scorpion – and you’re skipping this weekend’s Toronto Tattoo Show at the Hilton – you might be considering something subtle and tasteful. Before you take the permanent plunge, read this, our list of Toronto’s best tattoo parlours.
With hardwood floors, tasteful, framed art and silver jewelry in glass display cases, this downtown body art boutique appeals to Bay Street bankers and and hardcore biker types alike. It’s sterile only in the literal (and important) sense. 577 King St. W., 416-850-8227.
Way Cool Tattoos
David ‘Ace’ Daniels opened this shop on Queen West long before tattoos – or the ’hood – was hip. He passed away this March, but not before leaving his mark on countless customers, including members of the Foo Fighters. The old school pin-up girls that adorn the wall recall a bygone era. 675 Queen St. W., 416-603-0145.
Lucky 13’s staff artists take pleasure in helping newbies transform serviette sketches into stunning pieces of body art. Double your pleasure (and pain) on the 13th of each month when piercings above the neck are only $20. 533 Bloor St. W., 416-537-7376.
Co-owner Scott McEwan trained in Japan, and for the last 30 years he has travelled the world creating art, specializing in large format Japanese-style pieces. He was recently featured on an episode of “Tattoo Gun Fight,” in which rival artists compete by tattooing outspoken celebrities. 618 Queen St. W., 416-203-1615.
Image courtesy of Conor Keller.