Toronto Mayor Rob Ford appeared as a guest speaker at an event celebrating freedom of the press on Monday, less than one week after confronting a reporter outside his Etobicoke home.

Ford spoke on the need to "respect press freedom" at the evening event at city hall, marking the United Nation's World Press Freedom Day.

The event was organized by the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada and Ford's speech focused on violations of press freedom in countries around the world, where journalists are harassed, attacked and killed.

Ford left the event without taking questions from the media.

The mayor has been embroiled in a public spat with the Toronto Star newspaper after confronting reporter Daniel Dale in a public park behind Ford's house.

Ford has accused Dale of spying on his family, while the Toronto Star maintains Dale was there writing about a piece of parkland Ford has applied to purchase from the region's conservation authority.