It was rare for Rob Ford to go anywhere in Toronto without having a camera or a microphone shoved in his face. 

But when the former mayor fo Toronto came to Edmonton, the man could barely even get directions.

Three years ago Glenn Kubish, a media director with ATB Financial, was driving down Jasper Avenue when he spotted a man who looked strangely familiar crossing 101 Street.

Not one to pass up an opportunity, Kubish rolled down the window, stuck out his hand and said hello.

"Welcome to Edmonton, Mayor Ford."

The big man with the troubled past turned to Kubish while in the intersection, shook his hand, and offered a simple reply.  

"Hello. How do you get to city hall?"

Glenn Kubish

Three years ago Glenn Kubish was driving on Jasper Avenue when he spotted a lost Rob Ford and he decided to give him a ride. (CBC)

Kubish started to give him directions but then thought he could do one better.

He had an empty back seat so he told Ford to hop in.

Initially, Ford declined, but after a little prodding he decided to accept Kubish's hospitality.

"So he yelled to his wife, who had already crossed the intersection," Kubish explained. "He said, 'Hey Renata, get in here!' So she came back and got in the passenger back seat.

"He's a big boy, my wife's car is small, so he got into the back seat and off to city hall we went."

Prominent in both stature and personality, Rob Ford wedged himself in Kubish's small car, and he had a story for the ages.

Once on the road, Kubish gave Ford a few lighthearted jabs about the Toronto Argonauts but said, overall, the ride was very pleasant.

"He talked about how friendly the people were in Edmonton," Kubish said.


"My impression was quite different than the image that we know him." - Glenn Kubish

"I showed him the Citadel Theatre, the Winspear Centre, the art gallery."

Ford was particularly taken by Edmonton's construction cranes.

But then, as quickly as the trip had started, it came to an end.

The car pulled up to city hall and Ford departed, leaving him with an alternate impression of the man than he had seen in the media.

"My impression was quite different than the image that we know him… I'm not even saying that he revealed his true self, but he was a friendly guy," Kubish said.

"He was gregarious he seemed interested in Edmonton, he laughed, we shook hands. He thanked me for the Edmonton hospitality and gave me his card."

Rob Ford

Glenn Kubish says Rob Ford was impressed by Edmonton's construction cranes. (Darren Calabrese/Canadian Press)

Rob Ford died Tuesday at the age of 46, after a fight with aggressive cancer. 

When Kubish heard about his death, he thought back to that day in the intersection. He said the experience taught him to take a chance and talk to more people.

"You think a lot of things. I didn't know him but our lives crossed on the street," said Kubish. "A lot of our street encounters are silent, no one talks much, cars honk, but that's about it.

"But this was sort of a little fringe play, an improv play, that happened on the streets."

Kubish never did get a picture with Ford, but he can't help but think back to that day on Jasper Ave.

That big man in the little car.