No CFL? London-based player Jacob Ruby turns side hustle into full-time gig

Jacob Ruby of London plays for the Edmonton Football Team, and in the off season runs a property management company.

Offensive lineman Jacob Ruby plays for the Edmonton Football Team

Jacob Ruby stands in front of his truck and trailer. He owns and operates Gemstone Property Management. (Submitted by Jacob Ruby)

Jacob Ruby's football career began when he was just a kid, at Medway High School in Arva, Ont.

"That's kind of where it started and where I realized that I could maybe play football," said the 27-year-old Edmonton Football Team offensive lineman from London, Ont., where he now lives with his wife and two children.

"This would have been my sixth season in the CFL," said Ruby, who began in the league with the Montreal Alouettes.

The Canadian Football League cancelled its season last week due to the COVID-19 pandemic, after it was unable to secure financial assistance from the federal government.  

"It was disappointing obviously," Ruby said. "It kind of just became more and more inevitable as the process went on. But on the bright side it was good to finally have an answer."

Ruby is now ramping up his London-based property management company, which he began a few years ago to keep him busy during the off-season.

"When you play football long enough you learn to kind of roll with the punches and deal with what life throws at you, so that's all we're doing right now," Ruby said.

Jacob Ruby pictured with his wife, Blair and his daughter Zoee and son Asher. (Submitted by Jacob Ruby)

Ruby and his wife, Blair, bought a house in London when Ruby's football career brought the couple to Montreal.

"My wife's from Spotsylvania, Virginia, which is kind of a rural suburb... and I've always grown up on a farm," he said. "The big city of Montreal was not either one of our vibes. So we bought a house here in London basically because we didn't want to stay in Montreal in the off season."


Rebecca Zandbergen

Host, London Morning

Rebecca Zandbergen is from Ottawa and has worked for CBC Radio across the country for more than 20 years, including stops in Iqaluit, Halifax, Windsor and Kelowna.