The veteran premier of nine years made the announcement Monday evening during a surprise caucus meeting.
"Earlier today, I asked Yasir Naqvi, our party president, to convene a leadership convention at the earliest possible time," he said in a prepared statement to reporters and MPPs, adding that he will also prorogue the legislature to allow allow time for the government to negotiate labour agreements with the public sector.
"I will remain as Premier until that leadership convention."
Reaction from politicos across the country has been swift.
Some have even raised the idea of McGuinty running for the Federal Liberals.
[ Related: Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty resigns from office ]
According to the Canadian Press, a McGuinty campaign team is ready to go:
"For the past month, a draft campaign has been in the works to persuade McGuinty to jump into the federal fray.
Read More »from Liberal insider on potential of McGuinty running for the federal Libs: “If he runs…he will win”
Some of his