- Parkdale—High Park
Nick Capra is a businessman, husband, father, and musician with deep roots in both the Green Party and his home riding of Parkdale-High Park. He is a long-time Green Party organizer, well-known within his community, and a leader in several charitable projects. Nick is a life-long learner who continues his education at every opportunity. He is currently pursuing a degree in Public Administration and Governance at Ryerson University.
An early entrepreneur, Nick started his business, “Running Free,” 35 years ago while still a teenager growing up in the Jane-Finch area of Toronto. In 1998, he initiated a program to collect and distribute used shoes that he encouraged his customers to donate. This program has diverted over 250,000 pairs of footwear from Ontario landfills, and has reached both local and international communities, including Haiti and Sierra Leone. Due to increasing needs in Canada, most of the shoes collected are currently being distributed by front line agencies in Toronto.
In 2008, Nick was instrumental in delivering the Marathon de la Solidarité, a 10km race in Haiti that was a celebration of community. UN observers estimated that over 20,000 Cap-Haitians took part. The following year, he and his team were diverted from landing in Haiti just as the devastating earthquake occurred. Back in Toronto, they raised over $80,000.00 in just one week. Those funds were later used to build a trade school in northern Haiti.
Nick is committed to promoting physical activity and literacy for students living in impoverished neighbourhoods, with the aim of making graduation a reality. Since its inception in 2006, he has organized the Start2Finish 5km Run and Read Challenge, and the awards ceremony, as race director. This after-school program currently reaches 50 communities across Canada.
For more than twenty years, Nick has been deeply engaged in matters of public affairs and governance. He ran for the Green Party of Canada in 2004 and 2006. Nick also had the honour of representing the Party at regional debates including the North York Board of Trade and CBC Radio One live broadcast where he went head-to-head with veterans Bob Rae, Olivia Chow and Peter Van Loan.