Rydalmere was named in 1866 by land speculator Thomas O'Neill when he subdivided Hannibal Macarthur's old Vineyard Estate. 'Rydal' comes from Rydal, Cumbria, in the Lake District of England where O'Neill was born, while 'mere' means a lake.
There are some stores in Rydalmere based on Victoria Road, but the main shopping centre nearby is Parramatta Westfield, which is one of the largest shopping centres in Australia.
Rydalmere railway station is located on the Carlingford line of the Sydney City Rail network.
Rydalmere ferry wharf is on Parramatta River and has services run by the Sydney Ferries network. The ferry primarily services tourists on weekends and city workers during the week.
There are five Sydney bus routes that service the area. The 520/M52 travels to and from Parramatta Station to City and Circular Quay. The 523 travels via Spurway and Bartlett Streets in Ermington and on to West Ryde. The 524 services the industrial area of Rydalmere stopping along South Street and then on to the south side of Ermington and Melrose Park. The 525 is a Parramatta Station to Burwood service. All routes travel along Victoria Road at some point and stop at Rydalmere Station.
Rydalmere currently consists of residential and commercial developments. The western side of Rydalmere is commercial, consisting primarily of light manufacturing and service industries. The eastern side is mainly residential and is divided by Victoria Road. The northern side has generally higher property prices and less Department of Housing properties.