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As I sit in the roomy reception area waiting for Eric Gaudet, the shop's manager, small wolf packs of teenage girls enter.
Under the ownership of Dave Wildenboer, a tattoo artist himself, circa 1994 New Tribe started in a cramped spot on Queen St.
With an obvious explosion in tattoo shops dotting the city in the past couple years, New Tribe is a mainstay, says Gaudet. Freshdaily is Canada's source for hyper-local arts, music, film, fashion, food and news coverage. Disclaimer: Comments and entries represent the viewpoints of the individual and no one else.
Thinking of getting inked, or, of a way to creatively cover a love-lorne quote you had brandished on your backside while you were [quite literally] love-drunk into a lasting piece of dignified art?
Bill Baker has spent over 30 years tattooing and is the legendary co-owner of, Pearl Harbor Gift Shop, where he employs his knowledge of indigenous South Pacific tattoos to draw a loyal following. Innes, co-owner of, Pearl Harbor Gift Shop, specializes in custom creations with a focus on Horimono (traditional Japanese style tattooing) and portraits (similar to Bill Baker). Owning and working out of, New Tribe, Dave is one of the most well-respected veterans in the city; and, the reason why many of his proteges have taken up the craft.
David Glantz opened, Archive, with his wife in 2008, specializing in forced perspectives by playing with light and color to make his tattoos come to life. At the helm of, Tat-A-Rama, is Eugene, who recalls when there were only a few decent tattoo parlors in the area. Fabrizio, is a disciplined, self-taught artist from Milan, Italy, with a strong affinity for geometric shapes and unique forms. George Brown, is legendary in Toronto as an artists who takes the craft, but not himself, seriously. At, TCB, Jenny, loves the comical and whimsical pieces, but can execute just about anything with a personable and professional demeanor. After growing up in Cancun and traveling as a tattoo artist through Europe, Asia and Canada, Lemur, has found a stable chair in the Hipster’s Haven of Queen Street West. After apprenticing in shops around the world and paying her dues in Toronto by establishing connections and clients at New Tribe and Passage, Lizzie Renaud, opened Speakeasy, in 2009. Co-owner of, TCB, Scott spent 30 years traveling as an artist and was recently featured on, “Tattoo Gun Fight,” a reality show in which artists compete by tattooing celebrities in their distinguished styles. It’s worth making the trip to the outskirts of Toronto to Markham where, Chronic Ink, is located, if you want something authentically inspired and perfectly executed. Please note, this is a short list, capturing some of our favorite notable artists, but with the Toronto Tattoo scene continuously expanding, new artists are emerging every day.

There is also a shop called The Red Dragon Tattoo Parlour which is Toronto’s only all female tattoo shop. New tribe Tattoos and Piercings - Check out this great blog on 18 of the top Toronto tattoo artists!
FY Ink Tattoos is a street-level Queen West tattoo shop in a prime spot for walk-in traffic, which hits a fever pitch during the summer months. Known as a go-to for celebrities, Scoot's work adorns the skin of Johnny Depp, Chris Bosh and Bam Margera.
That something specific is portrait-style work, with four artists that specialize in photorealism.
FY Ink knows what they've built their reputation on and are proud of their recognition as a premier portrait shop. Not that they are a one-trick pony (they have artists that do everything from American Traditional to West Coast script styles) but as a customer-service oriented shop they just want to make sure that any potential customers get exactly what they're looking for. Between the artists, they will do tribal, Celtic, big, small, colour, Haida, black and grey, portraits, Japanese and traditional. You have the typical stock tattoo drawings of smiley cherubs, mini-devils and fantastical characters.
Published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 (Canada) license. And, if you’ve been inked in Toronto or elsewhere, please let us know what you know and where to go, below! His raw artistic talent and ability to understand his client’s desires, make all of his designs, whether small or large, memorable. Dave masterfully rolls up his sleeves daily, to create some of the best sleeves in the city. Now, at 46, Eugene is one of many tattoo artists in the city, but one of the few who has grown with his clientele, developing custom tattoos with distinguished precision. Co-owner of, Seven Crowns Tattoo, Brown likes to take his client’s vision and revolutionize it into an original and lasting piece art.
Working at the Kensington Market flagship, Pearl Harbor Gift Shop, she tattoos in an illustrative and professional manner; and, is completely devoted to her craft.
Owner, Jay Decator, strays from the trendy to focus on quality, often undertaking grand art-scapes and pieces that take years of thought on part of the client and many hours of labor in the making.
Working out of, Exotix Studios, Lemur, mixes traditional ascetics with pedicured precision and superior shading. With bright colors and comfortable surroundings, Lizzie has transformed the experience of hard-edged needling into a pleasant pursuit for her long-list of devoted clients.

He’s the guy to seek if you need a proper coverup or a piece that will never need to be covered. Zhang’s freehand, free-flowing style brings life to his tattoos and reflects the energy and personality of his clients.
We’d love to hear who you’ve entrusted to leave their signature on your skin and any advice you have for others in the comments below! Authentic Bamboo tattooing… with a stick and needle he does amazing tats that outshine seasoned machine artists!
Several of its artists have been profiled in the internationally acclaimed industry-leading magazine Freshly Inked.
With several other shops within walking distance (notably TCB Tattoo Parlour, Abstract Arts, and New Tribe Tattoo) the Queen West strip is a hotbed for tattooing.
After you ascend the stairs, to your right is an enclosed room that houses five tattoo beds. Talking with the counter girl, she explains that a good majority of the browsing, Katy Perry-lovin' kids do end up getting a piercing or a tattoo. And now with their artists at Tattoo Rock Parlour, which brings a "different type of crowd, different type of atmosphere, different hours," according to Gaudet, New Tribe is sitting pretty in a crowded downtown tattoo scene. I'm in the heart of Toronto's sleek fashion district, but all I can think of is wool sweaters, Gore-tex gloves, and a puffy coat. And with six full-time tattoo artists, four body piercers, three counter staff and a barber - yeah, seriously, a barber - New Tribe has been a fixture in Toronto's tattoo scene since 1994.
It's all in the location that gets the foot traffic from curious passerby bored from shopping Queen West.
And unlike other big shops in the city, if it fits and a consult isn't needed, they'll do walk-ins that day. And a year ago, they became the in-house artists at Tattoo Rock Parlour - the local drink, rock out and get inked joint just down the road on Queen.
As I walk the well-lit environ, I check out the private piercing room (they also do genital and nipple piercings), barber shop, large sterilization centre, and, in the back, a good-sized staff room outfitted with a gi-freakin'-normous flat screen TV and Xbox 360 console.

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