Ontario Tattoo Association
Nix Tattoo Fest n#14  
Toronto Public Health, infection control guidelines: http://www.toronto.ca/health/cdc/infection_control/index.htm - Official Link
- A non-profit group dedicated to promoting excellence in the Tattoo Arts - Better tattoos through dialogue and education -

News from around the world and around the corner.
Members submit your stories - ontariotattoo@gmail.com

July 1 - The BodySafe Program is now in effect in the GTA as of July 1st 2013. Find all the links here. We have posted some info on Facebook, more to follow soon. Stay tuned!

BodySafe is Toronto Public Health's inspection and disclosure program for personal services settings (PSS) that provide hairstyling and barbering, tattooing, micropigmentation, ear and body piercing, electrolysis, manicure and pedicure or aesthetics services. Some PSS establishments provide more than one service.

June 26 - The BodySafe Program will hit the GTA streets July !st. The first shop will be licensed that day! The information will be released to the public on July 1st. Find all the links here. We have posted some info on Facebook, more to follow July 1st. Stay tuned!

OTA Facebook: "The new PSS 'BodySafe' licensing program will start July 1st, 2013 in the Greater Toronto area. You must be fully compliant by July 1st 2014. If you want to apply, you have to start with MLS. Either by going to 850 Coxwell Ave at the East York Civic Centre, or calling or emailing them to ask for the PSS Licence application. 
Have your shops been inspected this year? If yes, then take your Pass/Satisfactory inspection report with you. If they haven't yet been inspected this year, then you can call TPH health connections at 338-7600 to ask for a TPH PSS business licence inspection. Stay tuned for the link on July 1st, as soon as we get it! New businesses must now get a health inspection and a license before opening".

June 13 - 16 The NIX Tattoo Show is done again. Another great show, many thanks to all especially Tattoos.com and the NIX Tattoo Show itself for contributing to the cause, again. These same issues are relevant to this whole industry.

June 1 - The state of Connecticut is in the process of passing legislation that would require tattoo artists to take a training program, pass an exam and pay $250 license fees. Read more: http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/State-considers-licensing-tattoo-artists-4569035.php#ixzz2VEECNt00

May 31 - The hi-tech tattoo that could replace ALL your passwords: Motorola reveals plans for ink and even pills to identify us. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2333203/Moto-X-Motorola-reveals-plans-ink-pills-replace-ALL-passwords.html#ixzz2VE8g1Q6W 

May23 - Originally posted 12 /08/23 Study: Tattoo infections traced to tainted ink. http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/news/health/study-tattoo-infections-traced-to-tainted-ink

May 17 - Originally posted 11/07/18 Saudi 'master of tattoos' sentenced to 200 lashes for providing women with make-up and cutting their hair, Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2175305/Saudi-Master-tattoos-sentenced-200-lashes-providing-women-make-cutting-hair.html#ixzz2VEBLoDWn

May 5 - Originally posted 11/02/22 Tattoo artist Walter Smith says parents voiced concerns that he's promoting 'alternative lifestyle' Read more: http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/news/region_pinellas/walter-smith-says-the-parents-voiced-concerns-that-he-is-promoting-an-alternative-lifestyle#ixzz2VE6X9AmG

April 17
- http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/story/2013/04/17/tby-tattoo-artist-health-unit-thunder-bay-warning.htmlThunder bay tattoo artist shut down for offering uninspected services. Health warning issued.

April 9 - http://www.cbc.ca/news/yourcommunity/2013/04/ottawa-womans-full-chest-tattoo-inspires-thousands-online.html
Ottawa woman's full chest tattoo inpires thousands online.

April 5 - http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/justin-bieber-gave-illegal-swaggy-tattoo-20130405
Justin Bieber faces a possible $2,000 fine for tattooing without a license.

Stay tuned, Beiber does holocaust 'Beleiber designs' tattoo flash sheet, very limited edition. -(kidding)

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/justin-bieber-gave-illegal-swaggy-tattoo-20130405#ixzz2RMTUAgSO 

Mar 28
- Many artists feel that licensing will mean more problems, expenses etc. That may be true but the alternative could be much worse. All of these measures will ultimately benefit the caring, professional practitioner and of course the client. Unfortunately some will not see it that way and may chose to tattoo privately, without a license or even health inspection. Hamilton has had licensing for a while now. If you are not licensed, you cannot be insured. Furthermore if you are not health inspected you are liable for any claims (lawsuits) arising from your activities. When public health becomes aware you have no documentation on anythying, they will have no choice to alert the media for anyone who has received any services GET TESTED for HIV and HEP. That's the kind of press that will follow you around! So wouldn't it be better to take an infection control course and get a license? There are many benefits to working with other artists in a professional environment. Read on....

Here's the kind of press you want: http://www.cbc.ca/news/yourcommunity/2013/02/internets-worst-tattoo-fixed-pro-bono.html

Tattoo culture making it's mark.... http://www.cbc.ca/hamilton/news/story/2012/09/18/f-tattoos-popularity.html

In case you don't already know: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/02/15/torontos_tattoo_parlours_hair_salons_to_face_tougher_licensing_rules.html

Mar 15 -
After a long and painful battle, sadly BME founder Shannon Larratt passed away. Shannon inspired many people in many ways and literally changed the face of body modification today. Tattooing is body modification. Shannon's star burned bright and he will be missed by many, least of all his true friends and family. Manwoman, a well known figure in the tattoo world for many years, also recenlty passed away as did Stalking Cat, another very well known figure. You can read more or make donations to Shannon's family at: www.zentastic.com/blog Our sympathy goes out to family and friends of all.

Mar 11
- The OTA received a letter from City Hall Summarizing the licensing issue titled "Interested Parties". All this information and more will be available in a members area on the new website in the coming weeks. Minutes from the recent vote are here: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewPublishedReport.do?function=getCouncilMinutesReport&meetingId=6806
Here are the exact items: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2012.HL18.2 and http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2013.LS18.2
This has been brought to you by the OTA, free of charge. Show your support and register now, tell your friends and customers.

Feb 20 - Licensing of all personal service settings (PSS) was adopted by Toronto City Council 39-0. More info will be posted here and on the Totonto website within days. http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/decisionBodyProfile.do?function=doPrepare&decisionBodyId=261#Meeting-2013.CC30

Feb 12 - Copy of The Board of Health and the ML&S decision and minutes, reccommending PSS licensing from Feb 4.
An OTA letter will be sent out to members detailing some issues and notes from the last ML&S committee meeting. The Feb 20 and possibly 21st may be the final public hearings on this issue. If, and we expect when this passes on the 20th, there will be a new system in place or the first phase anyway. Although not officially in force for one year, expect phase ins soon.

On Feb 4, the City Hall the ML&S committee voted unanimously in favour of licensing of all personal services, including Tattoo shops. The OTA was there, as with every meeting on this issue. Much more information will be sent out to members and posted here shortly. What may be the final vote on this issue will be on February 20 & 21 st. Public statements may not be allowed at this meeting but they are allowed to attend.

An ML&S committee meeting @ 9;30 am, Feb 4 in City Hall. What may be the final meeting about PSS licensing, before a city council vote in late February. Here is the complete Metro licensing meeting schedule and complete details:


REVIEWS AND GUIDES: Reviews and guides to tattoos in Ontario, Toronto and everywhere. Members, write a review!

Since 1995. Tattoos, artists, art, conventions and related info. Huge galleries, great artists. Also organise and produce The Northern Ink Tattoo Show in Toronto since 1998. Some of the best artists in Canada and the world attend, June 13-16 at the Hilton in Toronto.

Established for over 10 years. Tattoo artists, art and related info. Conventions and more. Very useful, lots of good pics and excellent artists.

18 tattoo artists you should know about.

Posted by dnicholls on May 29, 2012 Great layout well done! Nice pics and well written, nothing bad about this one, except almost a year old.

Interesting text style reviews and quick comments. Real user info with names, on some local artists and shops. No advertisers or payolas. Worth a look, make a review.

Blog TO:
http://www.blogto.com/toronto/the_best_tattoo_parlours_in_toronto/Posted by Ryan Bolton / MAY 12, 2011
Just a little out of date. Looks like a paid review of some of the best and easiest to find and shops that happen to advertise list and advertise with BlogTO. Nice looking, barely relevant 30 shops ago.

http://www.yelp.ca/search?find_desc=tattoos&find_loc=toronto Some useful info, verify for yourself. Several shops listed are now closed and many new artists and shops are not listed. Trying to look like a reader reviewed site. Rating system is very confusing. Some actual reviews, many look contrived if not totally fabricated. Found several glowing reviews from the same (work for free food and tattoos) reviewers giving repeated reviews of several businessess that are owned by the same people! Many reviews by unknown or unverified reviewers. Found a few bad reviews that were actually signed by other tattoo shops.



******************************* IMPORTANT TATTOOING INFORMATION********************************************

A rash of mycobacterium skin infections has been investigated by the CDC and the FDA in the US. The bacterium was found in black and grey wash ink in a few regions in the United States.

The OTA has compiled a few things to avoid in general: Don't premix your own black and grey wash, mix it fresh in the cap or use commercial premixed inks. Only use the appropriate mixing solution to dilute your ink in bottles.

AVOID USING TAP WATER, although many would argue in large cities like Toronto the tap water contains less bacteria than expensive bottled water. That may or may not be true in Toronto, it is surely less reliable in smaller towns, such as walkerton.

You can buy premixed black/grey wash or mixing solution for black/grey wash from most ink manufacturers.


We have compiled a very thorough and informative article about water here.

Here are some useful links. Outbreak of Mycobacterium chelonae Infection Associated with Tattoo Ink: 

Tattoo Ink-Related Infections - Awareness, Diagnosis, Reporting, and Prevention - NEJM:

Most notable recent TPH (Toronto Public Health) regulations include:

You must not refill ink caps.

Surfaces must be cleaned, wiped and sprayed to soak for manufacturers recommended soak times.

You must also WASH with soap AND disinfect with 70% alcohol, your brand new ink caps before using.

Sharps, INCLUDING DISPOSABLE RAZORS must now be put into approved sharps containers.

According to TPH "Plastic tubes are not sharps and do not need to be put in sharps containers".
Furthermore, The OTA and The GTTA have been assured by TPH that local health inspectors will not be making suggestions.

All new directives will come from TPH management, please report any unauthorized instructions immediatlely.

If you have an genuine issue or a problem with an inspection in the Greater Toronto area, please contact Cecilia Alterman at TPH.
Please remember, it's frustrating dealing with government but always try to be polite, you will get better results that way.

Note: Thanks to the OTA and GTTA you don't have to wash off the mark for piercings, as stated on your 'Fact Sheet'.
If anyone has information about other areas, like London or Hamilton (where there already is licensing) please contact us, we would be very interested in posting that information.
Ontariotattoo.com the website for the OTA - The Ontario Tattoo Association

In association with The Greater Toronto Tattoo Association - http://torontotattoo.com