John was born on May 16, 1969 in Manchester, England to James and Anna McConnach. The family emigrated to Canada in 1976; the family lived in Toronto for one year before moving to Mississauga. John went to Applewood Heights Secondary School, where football and entered talent shows with his band, Jamming with Wayne. The band reformed in 2001 and played at the legendary Horseshoe tavern before deciding to go their separate ways. During high school John discovered he loved to perform. He took five years of drama classes but never acted in any of the school plays. After high school he got an agent and started working as an extra. Not having much success in Toronto, John decided to try his luck in Vancouver and moved there in 1993. While auditioning for a children's play, he met his agent, Jim Sheasgreen.