Ryde is the third oldest settlement in Australia, after Sydney and Parramatta, and contains the oldest settler’s cottage in Australia, Addington. Addington sits on Victoria Road and was built by the emancipist, James Stewart, circa 1800.
The whole area between Parramatta and Lane Cove Rivers was known as the Field of Mars. The name, Ryde, after the town of Ryde on the Isle of Wight, UK, was used from the 1840s and was adopted as the name of the municipality in 1870.
Top Ryde is an unofficial locality within Ryde, which contains the commercial area of the suburb, centredaround the intersection of Devlin Street and Blaxland Road. It is the location of the Ryde Council office, Ryde Library and Top Ryde City, a major and newly renovated shopping centre. There is a strip of good restaurants, including an Italian restaurant and steakhouse on Church Street, and BlaxlandRoad has a mix of Chinese and Mediterranean foods.The Macquarie Centre at North Ryde is a short drive away, containing 230 shops, including a department store, large supermarkets and a cinema complex.
Ryde is served well by buses, with the L20 service running from the city every 20 minutes during peak hour and every 30 minutes outside of peak times, and the 520 service running every 30 minutes. There are also bus services from Chatswood. The 545 bus service via the Macquarie Centre runs every 15 minutes, and the 534 service runs every 30 minutes.
The Ryde Bridge links Ryde south to Rhodes, over the Parramatta River and, when it opened in 1935, and had a huge impact on the area’s development.
Ryde has a mix of brick, fibro and new homes in its leafy suburban areas and is set to undergo further expansion. Already, new luxury apartments have been built above Top Ryde City shopping centre.