John Payzant was born in Halifax in 1944. He graduated from Queen’s University in 1968 with a Bachelor of Commerce and quickly moved to Toronto to become an investment dealer and trainee bond trader. For the next twenty-nine years, he worked for various investments dealers, banks, and trust companies on Bay Street. After several years of summer vacations in the area, he moved from Toronto to Lunenburg in May 2004. He is a director of the Lunenburg Heritage Society and a member of the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron.