Toronto and Chicago will be bosom buddies once again, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford promised on Tuesday as he announced plans to visit the Windy City next month.

“This mission will be the beginning of a renewed relationship, and it will let Chicago know Toronto is open for business,” Ford told reporters Tuesday.

“Toronto business leaders will have new opportunities and avenues to do business in one of North America’s biggest financial and manufacturing regions. Toronto is growing at a phenomenal rate, and we have a lot to offer.”

Ford will visit Chicago on September 18 and 19 and will be joined by business leaders George Cohon, founder of McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada, and Robert Deluce, president of Porter Airlines.

He will meet with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, key business leaders and visit the Consul General of Canada in Chicago during his two-day trip.

Ford said the mission to Chicago will mark the beginning of a renewed Partner City relationship – a deal first reached in 1991 to foster economic development and trade between the cities.

“For more than 20 years the two cities have shared information in numerous sectors, which has helped advance economic interests in both cities,” Ford said Tuesday.

“Toronto and Chicago are financial hubs that are home to some of the most successful financial institutions. In fact, two of the three largest financial centres in North America are in Chicago and Toronto.”

Coun. Michael Thompson, chair of Toronto's economic development committee, said the trip was planned after business leaders asked the mayor to extend his hand to Chicago – America’s third-largest city.

“As the largest commercial centres on the Great Lakes, Toronto and Chicago have so much in common. Both have populations of similar sizes and face complicated issues, from waterfront development and investment attraction to revenue generation, policing and general municipal issues.”

“Renewing our Partner City relationship offers us many opportunities for productive partnership and mutual learning.”

Toronto is also a partner city to Chongging, China; Frankfurt, Germany; and Milan, Italy.