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Gormley was named after James Gormley who ran a general store and post office at Stouffville Road and Woodbine Avenue. Gormley came to this area in the 1840s and was a teacher, auctioneer, notary public, postmaster and storekeeper. The Gormley post office was established in 1851 and is still active. The community has been dramatically impacted by 19th and 20th century transportation developments. Early railroads bypassed Gormley in favour of other communities while the James Bay Railroad (built in 1905) shifted the business centre west toward Leslie Street and created a new neighbourhood know as New Gormley. The construction of Highway 404 split the community in two. The re-alignment of Woodbine Avenue during the 1980s bypassed the original thoroughfare of Gormley (now Union Street) so the original heart of the community is an isolated pocket.