Shade: sun safety

Shade is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. It can reduce overall exposure to UV radiation by 50%.

Seek out or create shade

Shade can be natural or built.

Natural shade includes shade created by trees and other foliage. Good sources of natural shade come from tall, leafy trees, such as the maple or linden.

For more information on which trees provide the best option for shade, see the Canadian Cancer Society’s How to make your own shade at home resource.

Built shade can be portable or permanent.

Portable shade structures offer a temporary shade solution. Good sources of portable shade include:

Permanent shade structures offer long-term shade solutions and are built to accommodate many people. They are durable, can withstand harsh weather, can minimize the impact of UV radiation and can be used in all seasons. Possible sources of permanent shade include:

What is Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF)?

Remember, seeking out or creating shade is one way to be sun safe. There are many ways to protect yourself.


Toronto Cancer Prevention Coalition (2010). Shade Guidelines. Updated 2019. Retrieved from on August 7, 2020.

Canadian Cancer Society (2019). Canadian Cancer Society’s SunSense Shade Planning Guide. Retrieved from on August 27, 2020.

Cancer Council Western Australia. 2012, The shade handbook: A practical guide for shade development in Western Australia, Cancer Council Western Australia, Perth. ISBN: 1 876628 61 8 November 2012. Retrieved from on August 7, 2020.

This item was last modified on August 27, 2020