Hornsby is a suburb on the Upper North Shore of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Hornsby is located 25 kilometres north-west of the Sydney central business district and is the administrative centre of the local government area of Hornsby Shire.
A railway station named "Hornsby Junction" opened on the 17th of September, 1886 to the north of the town of Hornsby, which had developed on the site of Horne's grant. It formed the junction of the Northern Line and the North Shore Line which were still be completed at that time. . Hornsby station was one stop further south on the Northern Line. Due to confusion by commuters alighting at the incorrect station expecting to transfer to a connecting train, the old Hornsby station was renamed Normanhurst on the 17th of November, 1898 after prominent local activist and engineer Norman Selfe, while the Hornsby Junction station assumed the current name of Hornsby.
The Hornsby Shire Council was established in 1906. In 1961, The Westfield Group built a shopping mall at Hornsby, making it one of the first suburbs in Sydney with a modern-style shopping centre. A competing shopping centre, Northgate, opened in 1979 but was eventually bought by Westfield. In late 1999, the two sites were amalgamated when the original Westfield was demolished and Northgate was renovated to create the new Westfield Hornsby which opened in November 2001.
Bus services operate from Hornsby, most by Shorelink, to local areas such as Normanhurst.
The Pacific Highway, which passes through Hornsby, was formerly the main road link between Sydney and north-eastern Australia. The completion of the F3 Sydney-Newcastle Freeway, which has its southern end at the neighbouring suburb of Wahroonga, means that the heavy traffic now bypasses the already busy Hornsby town area .
The western side consists of a traditional high street shopping village along the Old Pacific Highway. A short section of the highway north of the shops still has several antique lamp posts preserved. On the eastern side of the highway from south to north are the police station, the court house and the historic Hornsby Shire Council chamber (built in two stages in 1915 and 1930). On the western side is Hornsby Park with a swimming pool and bushland beyond it. A large war memorial and the adjacent RSL Club is located at the southern end of the shops.
The eastern side is dominated by Westfield Hornsby, a shopping centre, which features two department stores, a cinema multiplex, a food court and several restaurants. The intersection of Florence Street and Hunter Street became a pedestrian mall in the early 1990s. At the centre of the pedestrian mall is a large water clock sculpture, designed by Victor Cusack. The public library is also located in this area.
The north-western side of the suburb is occupied by various industries and the northern end of Hornsby features a major Cityrail railway workshop.
In recent years, high-rise apartments have been constructed adjacent to the train line as part of the NSW state planning policies to allow medium to high density development along transport corridors.
The local newspaper that serves the area is the Hornsby Advocate, owned by the Cumberland Newspaper Group.