Jim Carrey was born in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, the son of Kathleen (née Oram), a homemaker, and Percy Carrey (1927–1994), a musician and accountant. He has three older siblings, John, Patricia, and Rita. He was raised Roman Catholic. His mother was of French, Irish, and Scottish descent and his father was of French Canadian ancestry (the family’s original surname was Carré).
During an interview with James Lipton on Inside the Actors Studio, Carrey stated, “My father was a musician who got a ‘regular job’ to support his children. When he lost his job that’s when everything fell apart. We went from ‘lower middle class’ to ‘poor’. We were living out of a van. I quit school at age 15 to begin working to help support my family as a janitor. I’d have a baseball bat on my janitor cart because I was so angry I just wanted to beat the heck out of something.” After his family moved to Scarborough, Ontario, he attended Blessed Trinity Catholic School, in North York, for two years, enrolled at Agincourt Collegiate Institute for another year, then briefly attended Northview Heights Secondary School. Jim never finished high school because he worked full-time to help his family survive the severe economic hardship, and also helped care for his mother who battled a severe, chronic illness.
Carrey lived in Burlington, Ontario, for eight years, and attended Aldershot High School, where he once opened for 1980s new wave band Spoons. In a Hamilton Spectator interview (February 2007), Carrey remarked, “If my career in show business hadn’t panned out I would probably be working today in Hamilton, Ontario at the Dofasco steel mill.” When looking across the Burlington Bay toward Hamilton, he could see the mills and thought, “Those were where the great jobs were.” At this point, he already had experience working in a science testing facility in Richmond Hill, Ontario.