Bishop Ryan High School was built to ease the overcrowding of existing separate secondary schools, and was to serve students from St. Eugene's, St. Helen's, St. John's, Holy Family, Blessed Sacrament, St. Margaret Mary's, St. Francis Xavier, and those from Fruitland, Winona and Elfrida. The first sod was turned April 21, 1958, with Bishop Joseph Ryan officiating; the corner-stone was laid on October 3, at 3 p.m. Until the official opening on April 16, 1959, grade nine classes for 166 students were held using five classrooms and a transformed gym at St. Eugene's School, and there was also a shift system. The first staff consisted of the following members: Sister Mary Joan Boyer (Principal) Sister M. Raphael Arnold Sister M. Clarice Missere Sister Frances Cabrini (Gamma Golino) Mr. Geraid E. Ward Miss Sandra Agro.
The capital outlay for the new school was in the neighbourhood of $1,000,000, and the building was erected on Queenston Road. in an astonishing eleven months. Constructed to be efficient, with low-cost maintenance, the school featured many innovative aspects: there was no plaster used, but prefabricated concrete slabs; the Senior Science Labs had the teacher's table at the width end of the room, so the instructor could be closer to the students and readily view their work at a glance; the heating system was arranged so that clean, fresh air was brought into the building through two penthouses, was tempered, heated, and distributed throughout the building, while the old air was dispelled by means of grills in the doors leading to the corridors, from which the air was suctioned to the outside; also there was unique radiant heating in the basement floor and the gymnasium.
The new school had twenty-three classrooms, four Science laboratories (two junior, two senior), a chapel, library, nurse's room, gymnasium with sliding sectional door, and cafeteria, a bookstore, guidance room and three teachers' rooms.
In light of the school's more recent history of over-population, a newspaper clipping which stated that the school "will expand gradually until the eventual target of 800 students is reached" proved to be very conservative indeed. The demand for Catholic Secondary education broke all expectations and Bishop Ryan has been a veritable fortress in meeting the need.
(And then we moved to Albright Rd. in 1990-91...)