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City offering free sunscreen at 5 parks as part of pilot project

Last Updated Sep 12, 2018 at 11:39 am EDT

A sunscreen dispenser at Little Norway Park in Toronto on Aug. 3, 2017. CITYNEWS/Bert Dandy

Toronto has launched a pilot project to offer free sunscreen in five city parks.

Since Wednesday, the sunscreen has been available in dispensers at Kew Gardens Park, Sherbourne Common (south), Harbour Square Park, HTO Park (east) and Little Norway Park – often close to the busy waterfront trail.

“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 Coun. Mary-Margaret McMahon.

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

The city’s partners in the project, two melanoma-awareness charities, are covering the cost of maintaining and stocking the dispensers during the trial period.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Canada and its deadliest form, melanoma, is one of the fastest rising.

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

The project is based on similar programs in U.S. parks, and the city plans to expand if the pilot is successful.

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