Toronto launches pilot project offering free sunscreen in 5 waterfront parks

A look at the sunscreen dispensers being used in the new city pilot project.

Toronto has partnered with two foundations to launch a pilot project offering free sunscreen in five parks around the city.

So far, six sunscreen dispensers have been made available in five parks in close proximity to the Toronto waterfront: Kew Gardens Park, Sherbourne Common (south), Harbour Square Park, HTO park (east) and Little Norway Park.

“The lakeside Martin Goodman Trail and our beautiful waterfront parks are a magnet for all Torontonians and visitors who want to enjoy the outdoors and Lake Ontario,” said Counc. Mary-Margaret McMahon, chair of the City’s Parks and Environment Committee, in a statement.

“We encourage park and trail users to enjoy our common grounds safely, and that includes sun safety.”

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Canada, with melanoma being the most deadly. It’s also the fastest rising cancer in the country.

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“Fortunately, skin cancer is largely preventable, by protecting your skin from the sun with shade, long clothing, hats, sunglasses and sunscreen,” Danielle Paterson, executive director of the David Cornfield Melanoma Fund and a representative for the Douglas Wright Foundation, said in a statement.

The initiative is based on similar successful programs in parks across the United States, and if the project proves to be successful, an extensive expansion is planned for next summer.

READ MORE: Do you know which sunscreen best fits your skin type?

The city’s partners for the project — the David Cornfield Melanoma Fund and the Douglas Wright Foundation — are covering the costs and providing crews who will maintain and stock the dispensers throughout the trial period.

The dispensers look and work much like hand sanitizer dispensers and are stocked with Health Canada-approved sunscreen.

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