11/05/2013 04:47 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Rob Ford: 'I will be forever sorry'

Following his bombshell admission earlier in the day that he has smoked crack cocaine, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said he would stay on the job — offering apologies to his family, his colleagues at city hall and to the people of Toronto. 

Here is a full transcript of the statement Ford delivered at city hall on Tuesday afternoon: 

"With today's announcement I know I embarrassed everyone in the city and I will be forever sorry. There is only one person to blame for this, and that is myself. I know that admitting my mistake was the right thing to do, and I feel like a thousand pounds have been lifted off my shoulders. 

"I can't explain how difficult this was to do. I hope. I hope that nobody — that nobody — has to go through what I have gone through. I know what I did was wrong. and admitting it was the most difficult and embarrassing thing that I've ever had to do.

"Folks, I have nothing left to hide. I would do anything, absolutely anything to change the past. But the past is the past and we must move forward. 

"I want to be clear. I want to be crystal clear that every single person, these mistakes will never ever ever happen again. 

"I kept this from my family, especially my brother Doug, my staff, my council colleagues because I was embarrassed and ashamed. To the residents of Toronto, I know I have let you down and I can't do anything else but apologize and apologize, and I'm so sorry.

"I know, I know I have to regain your trust and your confidence. I love my job. I love my job, I love this city, I love saving taxpayers money, and I love being your mayor. there is important work that we must advance and important decisions that must be made. For the sake of the taxpayers of this great city, for the sake of the taxpayers, we must get back to work. Immediately. We must keep Toronto moving forward.

"I was elected to do a job and that's exactly what I'm going to continue to do. In 2010, I made a commitment to Toronto voters. I have delivered on that commitment, and I will continue to deliver on that commitment on saving taxpayers money. But they have a choice. We live in a democracy, and on Oct. 27 of 2014, I want the people of this great city to decide whether they want Rob Ford to be their mayor. 

"Again, I sincerely, sincerely, sincerely apologize. God bless the people of Toronto, thank you very much."