Ryde was first settled in 1792 by a group of marines who set up farms along the Parramatta River. Governor Phillip named the area ‘Field of Mars’, after the god of war, to reflect the settlers’ military background, and by the 1840s the name Ryde emerged for the district, after Ryde on the Isle of Wight in the UK.
Around the 1870s, North Ryde was named and many of its streets were called after famous battles. The School of the Arts on Coxs Road was built in 1901 and it became the hub of entertainment for the local community. North Ryde remained rural until the 1930s; it was filled with market gardens operated by Chinese immigrants until Italians gradually took over, and poultry farms run by families of Anglo-Saxon origin.
The character of North Ryde changed dramatically in the 1950s, when it underwent intense residential and commercial expansion. The establishment of Macquarie University in the 1960s paved the way for the introduction of technology parks north of Epping Road, in the suburb now known as Macquarie Park.
Ryde’s new Riverside Corporate Park at the intersection of Pittwater and Epping roads, ‘silicon valley’ to locals, has attracted the headquarters of many multinational corporations.
General real estate and design in the area
There are some older market-garden homes, but the majority of residential buildings in North Ryde and Macquarie Park are war service homes. Many of these are being replaced by new residences.
Restaurants and Cafés
There are half a dozen restaurants and cafés on Coxs Road, serving a mix of Thai, Italian and Chinese foods. Riverside Corporate Park also has a number of restaurants and cafés.
Often referred to as ‘the castle’ because of its square turret, Curzon Hall is a magnificent sandstone manor set in over a hectare of gardens. Located on Agincourt Road, it was built in 1900 as a private residence for Sydney businessman Harry Smith.
Local shops are located on Coxs Road, where there are about 30 stores. The enormous Macquarie Centre on the corner of Herring and Waterloo roads has 230 shops, including a department store, a number of large supermarkets, a 16-screen cinema complex and an ice rink.
Sports and Fitness Centres
North Ryde Golf Club is on Twin Road, and Active Health Club is the local gym on Talavera Road.
Transport and Distance From The CBD
North Ryde and Macquarie Park are 13.5 km north-west of the CBD. The 288 bus service from Coxs Road to the city runs every 15 minutes and the 506 service runs half-hourly. The 290 service from Epping runs via Macquarie University, Macquarie Park and North Ryde, then on to the city via the North Shore. The 534 bus service from Coxs Road runs hourly, via West Ryde Station and on to Chatswood. The new Epping to Chatswood rail link, which connects North Ryde to Chatswood, with stations at Lane Cove Rd and Waterloo Rd and Waterloo and Herring Rd.