You live within, or are visiting, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and are ready to get your first (or next) tattoo. There’s only one problem. When performing an online search for tattoo shops in Toronto you’re inundated with more options than anticipated.

How to Pick a Tattoo Shop in Toronto

Once resource from the summer of 2023 (see above) shows that there 121 related businesses in the region, while the local Yellow Pages yields a whopping 322 results! While you could simply choose based upon proximity to your home or hotel, you demand the best when it comes to your upcoming work of body art. This has led you to ask one more question – how to pick a tattoo shop in Toronto? Below is a breakdown of the key criteria to consider before booking a consultation with a studio near you.

6 Things to Look for When Deciding Which Toronto Tattoo Shop is Best for You

Google Review Score

The most logical thing to do when picking a tattoo shop with confidence, is to reference their reviews. The most trusted resource is Google Reviews. These reviews are not handpicked or selected based upon whether or not a business advertises on a given platform. They are written by real people, the satisfied and disgruntled alike. For the tattoo industry, only consider studios with a Google Review score of over 4.25 stars and with at least 900 (and counting) reviews in total. The latter is important because it shows that the studio has been in business long enough to serve (and satisfy) a large number of clients over the years.

Tattoo Artist Diversity

The next thing to do, is check out tattoo artist portfolios on the candidate shop’s website. You want to see diversity as it applies to the style of tattooing because this will tell you if the shop is up to the task to deliver on the design you desire. A shop with the requisite pool of talent should boast expertise in everything from American traditional and Japanese style to black & grey and realism, and beyond.

Proven Commitment to Health and Safety

We don’t need to stress the importance of this, but be sure to confirm it when comparing parlors. In Toronto Ontario, the city and province has provided detailed guidelines on tattoo infection prevention and control that shops must adhere to. Ask candidate shops about these guidelines to verify that they meet the standards. For instance, Adrenaline Toronto, not only meets, but exceeds, all federal and provincial sterilization requirements. We encourage you to contact our Queen Street West studio to ease any concerns you may have about health and safety.

Full Service and Merch

Tattoos aren’t just a work of body art. They represent a culture and lifestyle that involves other forms of body modifications such as cosmetic tattooing and piercing. Furthermore, there are a full suite of products that complement the allegiance to unique and individual style, such as body jewelry and tattoo/piercing lifestyle clothing, gear, and accessories. As a part of this culture, you want a tattoo shop that is a mecca for all things related to the lifestyle. In addition to tattooing, this shop should offer face and body piercing services and sell the top brands in body jewelry and tattoo-inspired merchandise. The tattoo studio you pick should be a one-stop-shop that feels like home, which leads us to the next deciding factor.

Professional and Patient

Next to assurance of quality work (as per the requirement to check reviews above), there is another reason you’ve asked about how to pick a tattoo shop in Toronto. You’ve heard that a large number of studios in the GTA  have staff that are curt, impatient, unprofessional, and ungracious to the point that they may clients feel as if they (the client) need them (the shop) as if there were no other alternatives to turn to in the city. This sort of attitude has been innate in the industry for far too long.

If a tattoo shop does not communicate an unwavering dedication to the client directly on their website, something is probably amiss. Consequently, you may not receive the appreciation you deserve for having chosen the studio over the 121-322 other shops in the GTA. Moreover, you probably won’t experience the patience and assistance in choosing the exact tattoo design and style to be applied to your skin. While practically all studios claim to welcome new clients with open arms, we encourage you to put it to the test. Simply call or literally walk-in to gauge the vibe for yourself – you’ll soon see if the proof is in the pudding from that first consultation or conversation.

At Adrenaline Toronto, our entire staff is sensitive to those who may be nervous about getting that very first tattoo, or a new one from an artist that they have not worked with before. As a result, you will be afforded the professional courtesy, patience, and friendliness that you need to feel comfortable in taking the next step.


Lastly,  we feel that a tattoo shop should empower current and prospective clients with as much helpful information as possible. This should occur before the very first consultation, during the consultation, immediately after getting tattooed, and in the weeks, months, and even years to follow. A studio that’s truly connected to the community and culture will deliver online content that provides this ongoing source of helpful advice along with inspiration for future body work. When it comes to the Greater Toronto Area, that resource is the Adrenaline Studios blog that you’re reading at this very moment.

When you consider the criteria for how to pick a tattoo shop that we’ve laid out above, there’s really only one thing left to do. Book a consultation with confidence and peace of mind that Adrenaline Studios is the right place for YOU.


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