This article describes the methods used for the 1996 Canadian National Survey on Sun Exposure & Protective Behaviours. A 55-item random-digit-dialling telephone household survey of people 15 years of age or more was completed in 1996. Items assessed were daily sun exposure and protective behaviours, as well as other sun-related behaviours and attitudes. Data were collected regarding sun-related behaviours during leisure, work time and winter holidays, as well as for children 12 years of age or less (as reported by parents). To test for an effect on the survey response rate, a letter of introduction was sent to 40% of the households. The survey response rate was 69% (4023 successfully completed surveys out of 5847 households included in the sample). The response rate achieved in the subset that received the introductory letter was 75%. This survey is the first to establish national population estimates for sun exposure and protective behaviours in Canada.