An attempt to visit every suburb in Sydney.

You want suburbia? I'll give you suburbia. West Ryde

The Land Before Time: West Ryde

You want suburbia? I'll give you suburbia.

West Ryde

Ryde is the closest thing Sydney has to an empire. You've got Ryde, North Ryde, East Ryde, and this is West Ryde. I just found out that Top Ryde is not a suburb. I'm shocked too.

The Rydes are in that kind of forgotten middle bit of Sydney. They're west, but not that west, they're north, but not that north and they're near Parramatta River, but not near enough to matter. Let's see if West Ryde is as forgettable as its location.

West Ryde has the honour of being the Ryde which has a Northern Line train station. From Central, 26 exciting minutes pass before you're in this very bog standard suburban train station.

I started with the eastern exit of the station, finding myself in a quiet commercial area.

Apart from a few ethnic supermarkets,

this side of West Ryde is a little bit like the land that time forgot. There are a few abandoned, old-school electronics and white good stores,

and this place which a quick Google search suggests once sold gun accessories.

The crane looming in the background suggests that old West Ryde's days may be numbered.

Further up the street is Ryde Eastwood Leagues Club, where you can enjoy discounted meals subsidised by people with gambling addictions.

I took a turn behind the club and ended up at the very lovely Anzac Park.

This park features BBQ facilities,

a war memorial, a children's playground,

as well as pigeons sitting down,

and this bird standing up.

I left the park and continued on. One block from the park is the very important Victoria Road which houses this heritage water pumping station.

Interestingly, just next door is this house which was once the home of the pumping station manager.

Having absorbed east-West Ryde, it was time to cross back to the station over to the suburb's other side.

Over here, things are a little more from the current century.

Yes, you do have this odd little cafe and bakery,

but, in stark contrast to the shops I'd just been through, you've also got new apartments over a new supermarket.

For some reason, outside the Coles is an onion you can chillax in,

and across the road is Old King Coles' arch nemesis.

The rest of this side of West Ryde's commercial zone isn't that interesting.

Although this one chemist will BEAT ANY PRICE!!! (in West Ryde). How many chemists even are there in West Ryde?

From here it was time to head into residential West Ryde on the way to my next suburb.

This is old school suburbia.

Your choices are mid-twentieth-century red brick,


or knock and rebuild.

If you're real clever, you can sticky tape a second level on top of your existing home.

There are a few exceptions though, such as these two roofy bois.

West Ryde makes me nostalgic. I grew up in a suburb just like this - modest and uninteresting houses on big blocks of land. Being that the asking price of one of these houses is now in the seven figures, it's only a matter of time before these old houses are replaced with duplexes and McMansions.

It's not a bad thing per se, but it will be sad to see its end.

With my pretending to be deep completed, I continued on to my next suburb.

West Ryde: A trip down memory lane.


  1. Love your work, Yaz. Thursdays and Sundays are much more entertaining thanks to this blog.

  2. It's worth going to West Ryde on the afternoon of the third Sunday of the month to have a look at one of its unique landmarks: the Sydney Live Steam Locomotive Society ( It's across Betts Road from the Coles. Whilst extensive, it's tucked in behind the houses and entered through a nondescript gate. Easy to miss!

    Thanks for an interesting web site.

    1. Coincidentally, I went to this just this past weekend (on election day!)

      It's actually super cool! (Although the average age of the visitors there is four years old).

  3. Hi there, Thank you for your article, it has shed some light on our lovely suburb. DID YOU KNOW... a 5 storey 26 room boarding house is planned for construction at 85 Anzac Avenue, right next door to our single story home. My mum has lived there here entire life and does not plan to move. She is an only child and having lost her Mum a few years back, the house is her only link to all of her cherished memories. Hoping you can publish this or make an object to Council.. let me know if you require further details.

  4. I stumbled across this blog and I just wanted to let you know that it’s great! Recently returned to Sydney after some years away and this makes me want to explore. The personal account, humour and photos feels like one of the most honest accounts of place I have seen in a long time. Also appreciate all the info on little trails and bush walks you have picked up along the way. Thanks!

    1. Thanks for the incredible review Kristy! Hope you stick around :)

  5. Thanks Yaz.. brings back memories. I lived in west ryde during my college years. I graduated in 1991 and that was the last time I see west ryde

  6. I grew up in Ryde around 1960 till about 1966. Great memories! Many years later I attended the School of Horticulture for a year.