Gormley, Ontario

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Unincorporated community
A sign found on Gormley Road East.
A sign found on Gormley Road East.
Coordinates: 43°56′27″N 79°22′55″W / 43.94083°N 79.38194°W / 43.94083; -79.38194
Regional municipalityYork Region
TownWhitchurch–Stouffville, Richmond Hill
Amalgamation(With Town of Stouffville)
1 January 1971
257 m (843 ft)
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Forward sortation area
Area code(s)905, 289, 365, and 742
NTS Map030M14

Gormley is a hamlet in York Region, Ontario, Canada that overlaps parts of Richmond Hill, and Whitchurch–Stouffville, two municipalities within the Greater Toronto Area. It was divided into two parts due to the construction of Highway 404. A portion of Gormley situated within Richmond Hill's political boundaries is subject to "Heritage Conservation District" controls.[1] A post office in Gormley (East) serves as the mailing address for the Whitchurch–Stouffville communities of Bethesda, Gormley, Preston Lake, Vandorf, and Wesley Corners.[2]

Gormley Road East, on the south side of Stouffville Road, leads to Gormley Court and a dead-end at the railroad tracks. On the other side of the tracks, accessible by Leslie Street, is Gormley Road West. The community had a railway station until it was demolished in the early 1970s. Many of the houses are approximately 100 years old. The community celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2005.


New Gormley from the South in the early 20th Century. Seen from left to right: blacksmith shop, David and Jacob Heise's double house, driveshed, railway station, North American Cement Block and Tile Company office.[3]

The community was named after its first postmaster, James Gormley, who served from 1851 to 1876.[4] The hamlet originally straddled the townships of Markham to the south and Whitchurch to the north, both in the County of York.[5]

The old community of Gormley is situated east of Highway 404 at the corner of Woodbine Avenue and Stouffville Road.

New Gormley or West Gormley, is the area near Leslie Street and Stouffville Road.[6]

A rail line owned by Canadian National Railway runs through West Gormley; it is CN's primary freight corridor connecting Greater Toronto to Northern Ontario and Western Canada. In 1907, a station was constructed in Gormley on Station Street (Road), south of the original Stouffville Sideroad. The arrival of the railway was significant in the development of New Gormley, as a cluster of businesses that relied on the rail service grew up around the station.[7] Houses of the owners and other buildings contributed to further expansion of the community, which by the 1920s housed a general store, a blacksmith's shop, a garage, a planing mill, a grain elevator and feed mill, and a cement block and tile company. Many red-brick two-story homes were built along the main street.[8] The station was important to local farmers who shipped milk and other produce from here to the city.[7] The Gormley railway station was demolished in the early 1970s.[8] Station Road, that once led to station, is now a narrow dead end street that gives access to a few homes and businesses from Gormley Road.[9] At the end of Station Road is an abandoned house, known locally as the "Ghost House" and it was the home of the trainmaster in the past.

There is now a new GO Transit commuter train and bus station that is the last stop on the Richmond Hill line from Union Station in Toronto. The station is located near Stouffville Road and Gormley Road East. Five trains run south to Union during the morning commuter period, and five trains make the return trip back to Gormley from Union during the afternoon rush. During off-peak hours, buses run. It is important to note that both the bus (61) and trains of the Richmond Hill corridor run on weekdays only (excluding holidays), unlike the other GO train lines.

Ken Baker (June 19, 1932-October 31, 2021), a lifelong resident of New Gormley had a big influence on the nearby community of Oak Ridges. In the late 1940s, he, along with his father and his brother dug what is now known as the Baker's Pits, 2 ponds north of Lake Wilcox that add to the community and make for a scenic walk in the park.

At the intersection of Woodbine Avenue and Stouffville Road lies Famous Sam's, named after the founder, Spyros “Sam” Kabiotis (November 21, 1925-July 15, 2002). An all day breakfast diner, it started as Cousin’s Dairy Shop in 1960 and has served the community as a restaurant since 1963. The classic diner has much history and inside, there are vintage pictures of hockey players from a bygone era.

A future challenge to the community of Gormley is the proposed development of an international airport immediately south-east of Whitchurch–Stouffville (the Pickering Airport lands). Under the current plan, the approach for one of the three landing strips would be directly over Gormley, with planes descending above the hamlet from an elevation of 521 metres to 480 metres. The plan anticipates 11.9 million passengers per year (or 32,600 per day) by 2032.[10] A "Needs Assessment Study" was completed by the Greater Toronto Airports Authority for the federal government in May 2010. After a "due diligence review," Transport Canada released the report in July 2011 and announced the decision to proceed in June 2013.[11]

In 2017, residents of New Gormley came together to design a community flag and held a referendum to secede from Richmond Hill, and the following year a mock mayoral race coinciding with the Ontario municipal elections in which resident Nigel Brown won. His campaign resonated with many in the community, asking Metrolinx to dim its GO station lights at night, slowing down development on the Oak Ridges Moraine, a local brewery to bring in visitors, and a bigger updated sign with a brief history of the community on it.[12]

Companies and attractions[edit]

The Town of Whitchurch–Stouffville Museum is located in Vandorf, which is north of Gormley, on Woodbine Avenue.[13]

  • Digital Leisure
  • Famous Sam's All Day Breakfast (since 1963)
  • Unilock
  • Gormley Missionary Church


Climate data for Gormley, Ontario
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) −2.9
Average low °C (°F) −11.7
Average precipitation mm (inches) 55.5
Source: Environment Canada (normals, 1971-2000) [14]


  1. ^ Adam McLean, Rift forms in Gormley over Conservation District, York Region.com (Oct. 15, 2009).
  2. ^ "GORMLEY PO". Canada Post. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  3. ^ Robert M. Stamp, New Gormley Station, Early 20th Century, Early Days in Richmond Hill: A History of the Community to 1930 (Electronic Edition).
  4. ^ For a complete history of Gormley, see Jean Barkey et al., Whitchurch Township Archived 2011-06-14 at the Wayback Machine (Erin, ON: Boston Mills, 1993), 57-61; also Isabel Champion, ed., Markham: 1793-1900 (Markham, ON: Markham Historical Society, 1979), pp. 240-243; 337.
  5. ^ See the detailed 1878 maps, "Township of Whitchurch," and the "Township of Markham," Illustrated historical atlas of the county of York and the township of West Gwillimbury & town of Bradford in the county of Simcoe, Ont. (Toronto: Miles & Co., 1878).
  6. ^ Robert M. Stamp, Early Days in Richmond Hill: A History of the Community to 1930 (Electronic Edition). See also Maurice Smith, "A Hamlet Divided Archived 2012-04-03 at the Wayback Machine," Stouffville Free Press, Oct. 26, 2011.
  7. ^ a b "The Coming of the Railway" (PDF). Gormley Heritage Conservation District Study. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-12-20. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
  8. ^ a b Robert M. Stamp (July 1991). "Rails through Richmond Hill: The Belated Arrival of the Age of Steam". Early Days in Richmond Hill. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
  9. ^ "Street Names: When the James Bay train stopped in Richmond Hill". The Toronto Star. Aug 23, 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2013. Station Road is named for Gormley Station, once a stop on the northbound James Bay and Northern Ontario Railways.
  10. ^ Cf. Transport Canada, Plan Showing Pickering Airport Site; also Greater Toronto Airports Authority, Pickering Airport Draft Plan Report, 2004. By comparison, Toronto Pearson International Airport had 32.3 million passengers in 2008, with an average of 1,179 "aircraft movements" per day (GTTA), Toronto Pearson Fast Facts .
  11. ^ Cf. Transport Canada, "Press Release Archived 2015-10-13 at the Wayback Machine," June 11, 2013; Transport Canada releases findings of the 2010 Pickering Lands Needs Assessment Study Archived 2011-11-02 at the Wayback Machine," July 11, 2011.
  12. ^ Zarzour, Kim. "New Gormley: Unique Richmond Hill neighbourhood has ties that last", "Richmond Hill Liberal", Richmond Hill, Nov 15, 2018.
  13. ^ Whitchurch-Stouffville Museum, Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville Archived 2010-02-22 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Canadian Climate Normals 1971-2000 Station Data". Environment Canada. Retrieved June 6, 2014.

Coordinates: 43°56′27″N 79°22′55″W / 43.94083°N 79.38194°W / 43.94083; -79.38194