2005 John Patrick Ryan
J. P. Ryan was born in Brantford on March 22, 1889, the son of Irish immigrants, Patrick and Mary Cecelia (Maxwell) Ryan. J. P. Ryan’s father opened P. Ryan Printer on Wharfe Street in Brantford in the 1860s. After attending St. Basil’s School and Brantford Collegiate Institute, J. P. Ryan assumed management of the printing business. Renaming it Ryan Printing Company Limited. J. P., or Jack as he was called, served on City Council as Alderman for Ward Two from 1932 until 1940. In September 1940, Mr. Ryan was appointed Mayor after Mayor R. J. Waterous was summoned to Ottawa to occupy a position in the National War Service Department. J. P. served as Mayor by acclamation each year during World War II, until he resigned at the end of 1945.
During his years on Council, J. P. was Chairman of the Finance Committee when the Pay-As-You-Go policy was adopted and practiced throughout his years as Mayor. The public debt was steadily reduced over the next several years and many other municipalities approved and adopted the Pay-As-You-Go policy based on Brantford’s success. During Mr. Ryan’s term as Mayor he was one of the originators of a project to introduce fluoride to Brantford’s drinking water. In June 1945, Brantford was the first city in Canada to fluorinate its water supply. Upon J. P. Ryan’s death in 1949, City Clerk, E. J. Campbell said of his close friend Jack, “He gave of himself unsparingly in the service of the city he loved, using the great energy and enthusiasm of which he seemed to have limitless supply. He gave to the high offices he occupied that personal charm which was one of his outstanding attributes.”