Silvan is a rural township 42 km east of Melbourne on the eastern side of the Dandenong Ranges. The area was originally South Wandin Yallock (which is briefly discussed under Wandin).

In 1876 a primary school was opened at South Wandin Yallock, which was part of an orcharding and berry-growing area. In 1913 the school's name was changed to Silvan. The name's origin would seem to derive from the surrounding tree-covered slopes.

In the 1920s the growth of housing in Melbourne's eastern and south-eastern suburbs caused a flurry of water-storage construction. Three storages, O'Shannassy, Maroondah and Silvan, were built. The Silvan reservoir was the largest, and was completed in 1932. It is fed by an aqueduct from the O'Shannassy reservoir, as well as a conduit from the Upper Yarra dam (1957).

The Silvan area's soil is suitable for growing vegetables, fruit, cut flowers and bulbs. Tesselaars tulip farm is a large flower and bulb grower, and has an annual Spring festival and other attractions throughout the year. The area also draws tourists to the Silvan reservoir park, pick-yourself orchards and berry farms. Silvan township is small with a store, hall, post-office, school and recreation reserve. The Silvan South primary school closed in 1992 and the Silvan school had 34 pupils in 2014.

Silvan's census populations have been:

census date population
1921 306
1933 520
1954 606
1961 707
1991 792
2011 1220