Gazebo and gazebo canopy are often referred to as the same thing but in reality, are very different structures. They both provide shade and protection from the elements but their size, strength and construction are very different. Let's compare these two to see some of the differences.
A gazebo canopy is very similar to a shade canopy or garden canopy. These are all simple structures with four metal posts for legs and fabric canopy tops. They are very versatile and portable due to their lightweight design and simple construction. Some of the fancier ones have more complex legs and valances which give them a gazebo type look which may account for some of the confusion.
These canopies are perfect for backyards, parks or other outdoor functions that require lots of time in the sun. Their portable shade is a welcome relief. They come in many different styles and colors to match any backyard or patio decor. They are usually quick to setup and take down which makes them perfect for parties, bar-b-ques, picnics or wherever you need portable shade.
Some varieties are referred to as pop up gazebos as the fabric top is already attached to the poles allowing for quick and easy setup. Other designs can be semi-permanently mounted and left up for the whole summer. You'll need to be careful here as high winds and other violent weather can easily rip or tear the canopy top. Replacing a canopy top is fairly common and many stores carry the gazebo replacement covers.
Real gazebos are usually larger and more sturdy. They are most often permanent structures and can be found in parks and other public gathering areas as well as backyards. They are usually made of wood or vinyl and built to withstand the weather. They are often mounted on cement pads to insure a solid and level anchor to the ground.
Gazebos come in many different shapes although the octagon and oval are the most common. They can also be built small for residential backyards or very large for outdoor public parks or as a centerpiece in a town square.
They are enclosed by waist high railings but always open for plenty of fresh air. They can be screened if for bug protection if that's a problem in your area. Real gazebos will often have a cupola on the top which adds to their attractive design and gives them that distinctive gazebo look.
You can see that a gazebo is quite different from a gazebo canopy. Both structures provide shade and can enhance your backyard although a real gazebo will cost more and require a more permanent place to be erected. A gazebo canopy, on the other hand, is very versatile and great for trips the park, beach or perhaps a booth at the local art fair. Either way, the word gazebo brings to mind a stylish and attractive structure that is sure to enhance any backyard or landscaping project.