Founded by Jason and Steve in 2009, Tour Guys is proud to have been the first free walking tour company in Canada! After years of working in the educational tourism industry as travelling guides, we were eager to come home. Though tired of a life on the road, we still loved guiding tours, discovering new things about our cities, and sharing our cities’ fascinating histories with people from all over the world. We started Tour Guys to create our own dream jobs and to give our tour guide friends an outlet for their passion for guiding and storytelling as well!

Tour Guys’ owners Jason and Ali, who took over the Vancouver branch in 2016, are always seeking ways to improve our tours and diversify our team. We’re a team of history nerds, stand up comedians, documentary filmmakers, musicians, and general misfits who love walking and talking about our respective cities. We’re strong proponents of experiencing cities on foot, and our mission is to bring the hidden and often-missed histories, quirks, and eccentricities of Canada’s great cities into the light.

Our Guides

Ali

Alasdair (‘Ali’) is a born and bred Vancouverite and Director for Tour Guys Vancouver. After graduating with a BA with Honours in Human Geography he wandered the Earth lost until discovering walking tours in Berlin. In 2009 he began performing his first tours solo in Vancouver and in 2012 he joined forces with the Tour Guys group. Ali is particularly interested in the relationship between people and place, and loves taking people on detours through the lesser known stories of his hometown.

Alex

Alex was born and raised in Vancity and calls the North Shore her home. She’s 1 part tour guide, 2 parts geek and 3 parts self-proclaimed foodie. Because she forever has the travel itch, she vicariously travels through the tourists she meets and shows around her hometown!
When she’s not touring people around, Alex works in community services running programs for the little kiddies and can often be seen chasing after a frisbee disc in her free time.

Emma

Emma has been leading tours with our company since 2014 when she moved here from her hometown of Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island. She is a stand up comedian and has performed across Canada over the past eleven years. She is an avid cyclist and makes active use of Vancouver’s extensive bike network. She is funny, insightful and has a loud voice that carries well over traffic. Emma loves guiding for the connections to folks from around the world and because it makes her get out and experience all that the city has to offer so she can share about great arts festivals, museums, hikes and events. Ask her about her favourite breweries in her East Vancouver neighbourhood of Hastings Sunrise and she will send you on a self-guided tour!

Erik

Erik Paulsson is an award-winning filmmaker, historian, and cultural event planner.
After graduating with distinction from Concordia University in Montreal, Erik moved to Vancouver where he founded Red Storm Productions in 1999. He has produced numerous feature or full length narrative and documentary productions. In addition to his work as filmmaker, Erik has also been a film instructor at numerous post secondary institutions including UBC, VFS, and the InFocus Film School.
Erik has been very involved as a board member of executive in various community organizations including the Cineworks Filmmakers Society, the Greater Vancouver Interactive Arts Society, the Documentary Organization of Canada, and was the co-founder of the Collective Housing Society.

Issie

Issie Patterson has been a bike tour guide and rock musician in Nova Scotia, an adventure guide in the mountains of Whistler, an English teacher in rural France, and is currently a graduate student in creative writing at the University of British Columbia. Her original stage plays have been performed in Nova Scotia and on Granville Island, here in Vancouver, and her thesis project is a young adult novel about magicians in Canada. Born and raised in Toronto, Issie now lives, works, bikes, and writes in East Vancouver.

Marla

Marla is a Neo-Soul singer/songwriter with a BAMu in Opera and a very quick wit. She is a storyteller, loves history, and to introduce people to little known facts and the broader nuance and narrative that make the city come to life.