A Drive Down Memory Lane

They say change is good and we have certainly seen our fair share of changes over the years! Today we are pleased to officially announce that Big Bus Ltd., Big Pink Sightseeing, and Vancouver Sightseeing have joined together under the WESTCOAST Sightseeing name.

It’s safe to say that we’re feeling a little nostalgic right now. Here is a look back on some of our highlights from our history over the past 31 years.

WESTCOAST Sightseeing

WESTCOAST Sightseeing was started in 1984 as a small family business with only mini buses at the time. At that time, the company was called West Coast City & Nature Sightseeing. By our 25th anniversary, our fleet had grown to 15 buses and our name shrunk to simply WESTCOAST Sightseeing. As you can see, we looked slightly different from the trademark green buses you know and love today!

WESTCOAST Sightseeing bus in 2010

Credit: Flickr/nerdbird

Big Bus

Big Bus was founded in 2004 and also began as a local family business. The bright red buses were easily recognized by the Union Jacks on the sides. In those days we had a gift shop and even sold gelato! Consider yourself lucky if you scored some souvenirs from that shop – I’m sure those vintage tees are fetching a high price on eBay right now!

Big-Bus-Gift-Shop-in-2008 Big-Bus-Vancouver-Sightseeing-2006

Big Pink Sightseeing

In 2011, WESTCOAST Sightseeing and GrayLine Worldwide partnered with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation to bring Big Pink Sightseeing to Vancouver. The name may have changed but our commitment has not. In 2015, we donated over $14,000 to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and we we will continue to support the Foundation’s effort to raise funds for the cure.



That wasn’t the only change for WESTCOAST Sightseeing in 2011!  We also experienced a complete makeover and our beloved green buses started to emerge…


Vancouver Sightseeing

So where exactly did the name Vancouver Sightseeing come from? Well, both Big Bus and WESTCOAST Sightseeing were known as Vancouver Sightseeing. The Big Bus’ trademark doubledeckers had ‘VANCOUVER SIGHTSEEING’ emblazoned on the side and WESTCOAST Sightseeing owned the website address. Friendly competition or foreshadowing the future merger?

WESTCOAST Sightseeing launched its very first website under the Vancouver Sightseeing name almost twenty years ago. It may not look very high-tech now but this was state of the art back in 1997.


Not to be outdone, Big Bus launched their own website in 2005 featuring a rare glimpse of a Big Bus cable car.

Big Bus-website-2005

The future of WESTCOAST Sightseeing

In 2012, two families became one as Big Bus officially joined WESTCOAST Sightseeing. Big Bus and Big Pink Sightseeing took Vancouver by storm as they offered more Hop-On, Hop-Off buses together than they ever could separately. Earlier this season, we relaunched our Hop-On, Hop-Off service with brand-new colours and GPS-triggered commentary in English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese. I think a part of us will always miss the classic Big Bus red and yellow but it’s hard not to love our fresh new look!

Big Bus Convertible in Gastown JUNE 16 (2)

In addition to the fleet changes, we also launched a brand new website, and we even relocated our head office earlier this year. Today we are WESTCOAST Sightseeing. One company, with one brand, and we have come together for one common purpose: We are Smile Makers!




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