North York neighbourhood rebranded as Duke Heights

A neighbourhood in North York is getting a makeover in more ways than one. The large industrial area between Dufferin and Keele streets is welcoming a new identity after being renamed Duke Heights.

New transit projects converge on area between Dufferin and Keele streets

Ward 8 Coun. Anthony Perruzza says the area between Dufferin and Keele streets has the potential to become the centre of the GTA. (Anthony Peruzza/Twitter)

A neighbourhood in North York is getting a makeover in more ways than one.

The large industrial area between Dufferin and Keele streets is welcoming a new identity after being renamed Duke Heights. 

Ward 8 Coun. Anthony Perruzza told CBC News the name change is only the beginning of what is to come for the neighbourhood with major transit projects on the way. 

"It's going to be traversed by a subway line, crossed by an LRT, has a major rail line that runs right through it," he said. "I think it could become the centre of the GTA."

The nearly-completed extension of the Yonge-University subway line through the area and the construction of the Finch West LRT beginning in 2016 is expected to bring the area to new heights.

"It is, in fact, is on the cusp of transformation because of the investment in LRT," said Toronto's chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat. 

Duke Heights BIA chairman Lew Pliamm noted the rebrand is necessary to get past a spotty reputation. 

"It's a hurdle we're trying to overcome, but that's what we're working very hard at — creating a new identity for Duke Heights."

New shops, restaurants and sporting facilities are opening and planned for the area but it will likely be a few more years before the facelift is complete. 

The LRT connecting the city and parts of the 905 with Humber College is expected to open in 2021.

With files from Nick Boisvert