Ford Nation is back. Former city councillor Doug Ford officially announced he will be running for mayor of Toronto in 2018.

Ford made the highly publicized announcement on Friday evening at his family’s 23rd annual “Ford Fest,” hosted at his mother’s house in Etobicoke.

The announcement comes after about a year of Ford teasing a return to politics, telling CP24 that he would run for mayor of Toronto or as an MPP under the Progressive Conservative party back in August 2016.

Speaking at the event, Ford said his mayoral run will honour his late brother Rob Ford who died in March 2016 at the age of 46 after being diagnosed with pleomorphic liposarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of soft-tissue cancer.

“I’m here to continue on Rob’s legacy,” Ford said. “Rob is looking down from heaven with that big smile on his face as each and every one of you has seen many of times.”

“I just have to say Robbie, this one is going to be for you.”

Ford spoke at the outdoor BBQ in front a chanting crowd.

“I know there is only one option, I know where it is in my heart,” he said. “Here today I am officially going to announce that I will be running for mayor of Toronto.”

After making his official announcement, Ford spoke about the city under its current mayor John Tory versus his brother’s time in office.

“For four years we have watched all the hard work we did at city hall slowly come undone,” Ford said. “During our administration of Toronto we were consistently ranked number one in the world to work and number two to live. The unfortunate thing is in three years we have fallen down to number 15.”

“When I become mayor we will be number one.

Furthermore, Ford said Tory has “failed” to deliver his promises made during the 2014 election.

“Transit in this city is a mess, traffic has grown to a halt and your taxes have never been higher,” he said. “Well I can assure each and every business owner and every resident when I am mayor we will have the lowest taxes in North America.”

Speaking with CP24 earlier in the day about Ford’s impending announcement, Tory said he should be able to run for “whatever office he wants.”

“Doug Ford has said he’s going to make more big announcements than anyone I’ve ever seen – and that’s fine,” Tory said. “He should make whatever announcements he wants.”

“I will only say to people that we are in the midst of actually building a transit network across the city, meeting our affordable housing target, which wasn’t the case in previous years, getting along well with the other governments and people just have to cast their minds back to three years to dysfunctional city council, no relationships with the other governments, no consent transit debates, nothing actually getting done, cuts back in transit, and they will have to ask themselves if they want to go back to that.”

Tory said he will be seeking reelection in the fall of 2018.

A poll conducted in June showed that Tory would beat Ford if the two squared off in a rematch of the 2014 mayoral election.

Forum Research asked 1040 randomly selected Toronto residents who they would vote for if the election was held in June and about 66 per cent of those asked said they would vote for Tory while 34 per cent said they would vote for Ford.

Ford spent one term as city councillor for Ward 2 – Etobicoke North and unsuccessfully ran against Tory in 2014 for mayor of Toronto. He entered the mayoral race after his brother had to withdraw amid his battle with cancer.

The next municipal election in Toronto is scheduled for Oct. 22, 2018.