The city is stepping in to make sure people are staying safe in the sun.

Park goers in Toronto will now have access to free SPF 30 sunscreen thanks to a city pilot project that aims to help prevent skin cancer.

The project – created by a partnership between City of Toronto and melanoma foundations – includes six dispensers in five parks around the city.

In a news release issued on Wednesday, the city said the parks chosen for the start of the project are mostly close to the waterfront.

The parks included are:

  • Kew Gardens Park
  • Sherbourne Common, south
  • Harbour Square Park
  • HTO Park, east
  • Little Norway Park

Councillor for Ward 32 Beaches- East York Mary-Margaret McMahon said these parks are “a magnet for all Torontonians and visitors.”

“We encourage park and trail users to enjoy our common grounds safely, and that includes sun safety,” she said in the news release.

At these parks, patrons can use the Health Canada-approved sunscreen from dispensers similar to hand sanitizer dispensers. The dispensers will be maintained and stocked by the melanoma foundations involved – The David Cornfield Melanoma Fund and The Douglas Wright Foundation. As well, all costs of the project will be covered by the foundations with the City providing administrative support to them.

Spokesperson Danielle Paterson for both organizations said melanoma is the deadliest skin cancer and the fastest rising cancer in Canada.

“Fortunately, skin cancer is largely preventable, by protecting your skin from the sun with shade, long clothing, hats, sunglasses and sunscreen,” she said.

As well, Toronto’s medical officer of health Dr. Eileen de Villa said the project will keep Torontonians thinking about sun care.

“We encourage residents to enjoy the warmer weather and physical activity opportunities that the summer months bring, while keeping sun safety tips top of mind,” she said.

“Sunscreen is an important part of an overall sun safety routine for all skin types.”

The project was based on similar programs set up in the United States.