After months of speculation, John Tory says yes, he is running for mayor of Toronto.
He signed his paperwork at City Hall at 8:30 am Monday, about 90 minutes before Karen Stintz is scheduled to launch her mayoralty campaign.
Tory spoke exclusively to Newstalk 1010 Sunday night, saying for him, the decision to take another shot at the post was easy because he loves the city. He first ran for mayor in 2003 and lost to David Miller by some 36,000 votes.
While a more detailed platform with costs attached will be laid out later, the former Ontario Progressive Conservative leader says his campaign focus is on creating a more liveable, affordable and functional Toronto.
Tory says for him making the city more livable means tackling transit and congestion problems. "The Yonge Street relief line in particular, is going to be a life line for communities and businesses and I want to get that done."
Tory says he also wants to keep taxes low, especially property taxes and to have the city government work in a way that people can be proud of.
He suggests he would bring a different tone to City Hall. "We will have less of the three ring circus, we will have more co-operation that we need", said Tory.
"You can have the greatest plan in the world, but if you can't get it through the city council because you're not possessed of the right skills or determination to work with other people, well then, it won't matter as much."
Newstalk 1010 reached out to Rob Ford's campaign manager Doug Ford and the Mayor's brother says there are differences between Rob and John Tory.
Tory officially registered to run on the same day that Karen Stintz will submit her papers. She joined John Moore on Newstalk 1010 Monday morning.
Tory says it wasn't that difficult to get wife Barb and the rest of his family on board, saying they know it's in his DNA to bring people together.
Tory has been host of Newstalk 1010's The Live Drive since the fall of 2009. Tory says the experience has been "an education" and an opportunity to talk with people daily about issues like transit, traffic, government waste and dysfunction.
But his mayoral ambitions mean he will have to turn in the Live Drive keys.
"We would love John to stick around", says Newstalk 1010 Brand Director Mike Bendixen, "but...the station supports him in his endeavours in running for political office."
But Bendixen stresses Tory won't be getting any special treatment. "We're gonna be just as hard on him as we would be on Rob Ford, as we would be with David Soknacki and Karen Stintz and Olivia Chow and whoever else decides to run."
Tory will be on the air during the Live Drive Monday with a thank you to his listeners.
Tory joins a field of 29 declared Rob Ford challengers, most of them unknown. Councillor and newly departed TTC Chair Karen Stintz plans to kick off her campaign Monday. Miller-era budget chief David Soknacki is also in the running.
Trinity Spadina NDP MP Olivia Chow is expected to join the race this spring.
Tory worked as a lawyer for his late father's firm, Tory, Tory, DesLauriers and Binnington before jumping into politics. He worked in the offices of Ontario Premier Bill Davis, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and his successor Kim Campbell.
Between 1995 and 1999 Tory acted as President and CEO of Rogers Communications. He continues to sit on Rogers' Board of Directors. Tory was also commissioner of the CFL from 1996 to 2000.
He was leader of Ontario's PC party from 2005 until 2009, when he stepped down after failing to secure a seat at Queen's Park in a byelection.
Tory is a recipient of the Order of Ontario and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal
Toronto votes October 27th.
John Tory for Mayor of Toronto - Campaign Launch Video