Solar UVR protection: Local regulation of shade at sites within the community

Learn how local governments can reduce exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) by increasing shade in community settings

Inside this UVR policy pack

Shade at sites within the community


Develop UVR protection policies in child care settings, schools, recreational settings for children and adolescents, and workplaces with outdoor workers1,2,3


Increase the provision of sustainable, quality shade at sites within the community including, parks, playgrounds, sporting and recreation facilities, early childhood services and community events1,2,4

Degree of policy adoption*


Current action(s) in Canada

Half of the 31 municipalities** have at least one policy document that indicates increasing the provision of natural and/or artificial shade structures in various public venues as a priority. Of these municipalities, eight specifically mention the provision of these structures for shade purposes. These documents primarily concern protecting and enhancing the urban forest and tree canopy cover in parks, open spaces and on streets and do not address the provision of shade at sporting and recreation facilities or early childhood services.

Toronto, through its Policy for the Provision of Shade at Parks, Forestry and Recreation Sites, is the only municipality that commits provision of both natural and artificial shade in all public venues within the city (e.g., childcare centres, pools, beaches, sports fields, multi-use pathways, urban agriculture venues) and does so with skin cancer prevention in mind.

The City of London has a Special Events Policies and Procedures manual that provides for the protection of trees in parks during community events to preserve the tree canopy cover and shade. No other municipality in the Directory has a policy that increases the provision of shade at community events.

For more information on municipalities that have adopted guidance documentation for protection from solar UVR, please see Solar UVR guidelines at the local level.

* Levels of adoption:  Low = very few jurisdictions have adopted evidence-informed policy action; Medium = some, but not all jurisdictions have adopted evidence-informed policy action; High = most jurisdictions have adopted evidence-informed policy action.

** Prevention Policies Directory captures information for 31 Canadian municipalities (18 largest municipalities in Canada, and at least 1-2 largest municipalities in all other provinces/territories).


1 Cancer Care Ontario (2016). Prevention System Quality Index. Retrieved from:

2 SunSmart Victoria. (2015). Policy Statements and Actions. Retrieved from:

3 Occupational Cancer Research Centre (OCRC)/Cancer Care Ontario (CCO). (2017).  Burden of Occupational Cancer in Ontario: Major workplace carcinogens and prevention of exposure. Retrieved from:

4 Department of Health (Victoria, Australia). Shade Grants Program. Retrieved from: