In 1870 a petition containing the names of 201 householders was presented to the Governor "requesting the incorporation of a municipal district divided into three wards and to be named Ryde".
Photo (right): Edward Terry, first Mayor of Ryde, 1871. Born 1840 - died 1907
The Council was incorporated under the Municipalities Act of 1867 and proclaimed a municipality on 12 November 1870. Owing to an error in the original proclamation regarding the western boundary, Ryde was re proclaimed in 1872.
The first election of aldermen took place on 10 February 1871. Three aldermen were elected for each ward and Edward Terry was elected Mayor. Terry later went onto represent Ryde in the New South Wales State Parliament.
In 1894 Marsfield became a separate municipality with a change of name in 1907 when Marsfield became Eastwood Municipality. This area remained separate until 1949 when it was re amalgamated with Ryde.
For the first years of the new Ryde Municipality the most important issues were roads, their condition and surfacing and rates. In 1872 the first year that rates were collected the amount was approximately $1,000 with a population of 1461. Very little progress was made in the early years of the municipality, but with the introduction of the Local Government Act in 1906 progress was gradually made. In 1913 Mayor Anderson reported "extensive works in road making, kerbing and guttering and improvements generally have been carried out throughout the whole of the municipality. The result of the improvements has been to produce a very decided increase in the value of properties generally". The majority of changes in the area occurred after the end of World War 2.
The first Council Chambers were in the Old Wesleyan Chapel in Church Street, from 1870 to 1879. Council's office changed premises often until a new building was erected in 1922. Council remained in this building in Blaxland Road until a new Civic Centre was built in 1964.
Various works were carried out by Council throughout the twentieth century. The Ryde Bridge across the Parramatta River was commenced in 1933 and opened in 1935. The bridge was a success for Council financially and paid for itself, through the collecting of tolls, within 13 years of its opening, when the bridge was handed over to the Department of Main Roads.
Photo (right) Ryde Town Hall around 1922
Perhaps the most forward thinking project was the Ryde Housing Scheme. This scheme began in 1946, a time when building materials and accommodation, were scarce. The Council borrowed approximately 5 million dollars and constructed 593 homes and 6 shops. The Council also loaned money to 400 ratepayers to erect cottages on their own land. This scheme enabled many people to have affordable, individual housing. Throughout the 1950's Ryde continued to become more urbanised. The development of Macquarie University in the 1960's paved the way for the introduction of technology parks in the North Ryde area. What had previously been poultry farms and orchards were gradually transformed into the 21st century technology parks that we see today.
Ryde gained City Status in 1992, which marked the bicentenary of the first land grants at Ryde.
The Council of the City of Ryde continues to provide service to residents as it has done since incorporation.