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What is shade and why does it matter?

Watch this video to find out what it's all about.

Being outdoors is one of life's great pleasures and is important for a person's health and wellness.

It is also important that people enjoy the sun safely when outdoors. Every time skin is exposed to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) from the sun, the skin's cells change. These changes build up over time and can lead to skin cancer.

Skin cancer (melanoma and non-melanoma combined) is on the rise and is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in Canada. It costs Ontario more than $344 million dollars a year.

The good news is that skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers by reducing UVR exposure. And one of the best ways to reduce UVR exposure from the sun is by seeking shade.

The responsibility for reducing UVR exposure falls on both the person and society: the person for using sun safety practices, and society for providing sun-safe environments that include shade.

How can shade be incorporated into the community?

Different types of shade work for different settings. Each site needs to be assessed for its own plan. Ideal shade may be in the form of a built structure, shade trees, or a combination of both. Shade trees can also provide added health, social, and environmental benefits.

Shade plays an important role in creating a healthier, happier, and safer community. But shade does not just happen. It requires policymakers, municipal staff, businesses, employers, education facilities, community groups and people to work together to increase shade in the community.

Visit the following pages for more information on shade and what you and your organization can do:

      Public Lands and Spaces  Educational and Child Care Lands and Spaces  Private Lands and Spaces

For more information, call 519-575-4400 or email the Public Health General Inquiries.