Several thousand demonstrators participated in the "Rally for Respect" at Yonge-Dundas Square in downtown Toronto on Saturday.

CTV Toronto's Zuraidah Alman reports that the rally was organized by various labour and community groups, who say that Mayor Rob Ford has cut away at the city's public services.

The groups said that key concerns include the sale of Toronto Public Housing units, taking away the TTC's right to strike and privatizing garbage collection, which is something Ford has mused about in the past.

The people who showed up to the rally -- including transit operators, auto workers, caregivers and garbage collectors -- say they didn't vote for any of these actions.

Sid Ryan, from the Ontario Federation of Labour, said his organization expects to be consulted on such major public policy issues.

"We expect (Ford) to operate as a democratic mayor, not as some sort of a dictator," said Ryan.

Meanwhile, Krisna Saravanamuttu, a representative of the York Federation of Students, spoke against Ford's policies on public transit.

"Students are already cash-strapped, and making public transit even more inaccessible and more unaffordable is simply not good public policy," said Saravanamuttu.

The city recently axed TTC discounts for part-time students.

Every protestor at the rally was given a postcard to sign, asking for their local councillor's support.

The postcards asked the councillors to protect public services, help improve public transit access and to defend good jobs. After being signed, the postcards will be mailed out to every councillor across the city.