Deepdene, a residential suburb 9 km east of central Melbourne, is situated between Canterbury and Balwyn. It is probably named after the house of the same name, designed and owned by the architect David Askew (1854-1906), situated in Deepdene Place.
In 1884-85 the Deepdene housing subdivision was advertised, comprising the land bounded by Burke Road, Whitehorse Road and Deepdene Road, extending to slightly south of Deepdene Place. It was a well situated estate on the Burke Road overlooking a valley to the south. The name possibly alluded to the topography.
Deepdene was situated on the Outer Circle railway line (1891) which ran in an arc from Oakleigh to Fairfield. Opened partly with an eye to stimulating land speculation, the line through Deepdene was closed in 1893. A service was re-opened in 1900 but with the service not going beyond Deepdene. It was Melbourne's last steam train service and closed in 1943. The station was behind the present primary school. Residential development languished during the 1890s, but slowly recovered in the 1910s. In 1911 a primary school was opened in a Congregational church and four years later the State primary school opened.
In 1913 a post office opened and the Cotham Road tram was extended to Burke Road (the north-west corner of the Deepdene estate) and in 1915 it was extended further east along Whitehorse Road. The line facilitated the building of the Deepdene shops along Whitehorse Road. In 1916 the Burke Road tram was extended along Deepdene's western boundary.
East of the railway line near the Roystead railway station, there was the Roystead mansion and grounds. In 1935 the property was acquired for the Camberwell (Anglican) Grammar School. It was among the last of the unsubdivided areas of Deepdene, several having been cut up after World War I and given street names such as Kitchener and Haig.
Deepdene is a well-to-do residential suburb, with Deepdene Park and the imposing Paton Memorial Uniting church (originally Presbyterian) in Burke Road. The former Outer Circle railway reservation is a linear walking track, trains having ceased in 1943. The railway engine had been quaintly named the 'Deepdene dasher' during its running life.
In mid-2000s, more by misdaventure than intention, Deepdene ceased to be a postal suburb, despite having a Deepdene Catholic Parish, shopping centre, school (443 pupils, 2014), mail distribution centre and post office with Deepdene postal datestamp. The inhabitants were very annoyed. Deepdene recovered its status as a separate suburb in 2008.
Deepdene's census populations have been: