New University of Toronto Scarborough student residence becomes largest Passive House certified building in Canada

TORONTO, May 15, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fengate Asset Management (“Fengate”) and the University of Toronto Scarborough (the “University” or “U of T Scarborough”) are pleased to announce that Harmony Commons Student Residence has achieved Passive House Classic certification. At 24,620 square metres, Harmony Commons is the largest building in Canada to receive Passive House Classic certification. On behalf of our investor, the LiUNA Pension Fund of Central and Eastern Canada (LPFCEC), Fengate partnered with U of T Scarborough to invest in and deliver a state-of-the-art purpose-built campus student residence with 746 beds.

A Passive House building is designed to use less energy for heating and cooling compared to conventional buildings. Passive House is regarded as the industry’s leading voluntary standard for energy-focused design and construction, it stands as the pinnacle of commitment to sustainable building practices. In U of T Scarborough’s Harmony Commons Student Residence, this standard is exhibited in the combination of highly efficient insulation, airtight construction, and carefully designed windows and ventilation systems. In addition to the reduced carbon emissions of building to the Passive House standard, savings in operational costs offset the additional expenses associated with construction.

“Student housing plays a crucial role in bringing individuals from various backgrounds together, enriching their educational experience and preparing them for a globalized world,” said Joseph Mancinelli, International Vice President and Regional Manager for Central and Eastern Canada, LiUNA. “LiUNA is proud to invest in Harmony Commons, the largest Passive House certified building in Canada that delivers sustainable student housing options that match the world-class educational offering of the University.”

“Achieving Passive House certification for Harmony Commons is the embodiment of LiUNA and Fengate’s values of sustainability and community. This achievement is just one of the substantive steps Fengate has taken in putting our commitment towards Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) into action. By placing an emphasis on energy efficiency and longevity, we pave the way for future generations to thrive in environmentally responsible spaces,” said Jaime McKenna, President, Fengate Real Estate.

Fengate and the University entered into a strategic partnership to develop the much-needed student housing residence on the Scarborough campus. The deal involved a debt investment to fund the construction, and an equity take-out to purchase an interest in the project along with a long-term land lease with the University. The University continues to own the land and operate the student residence for its students.

“Sustainability is a key focus for the University of Toronto Scarborough. Harmony Commons is more than an infrastructure project—the impact goes beyond our campus. We’ve showed the industry that this type of project can be done in this market and at this scale. Through Harmony Commons we’ve proven that passive house is an attainable standard for future large-scale developments,” said Andrew Arifuzzaman, Chief Administrative Officer, University of Toronto Scarborough.

The nine-storey Harmony Commons Student Residence welcomed its first students in September 2023 and offers residents a multitude of on-site amenities including an integrated dining hall, common lounge and study space on each floor, outdoor roof garden and terrace, community kitchen, laundry facilities, indoor bicycle storage, and more.

About the Labourers’ International Union of North America
Half a million members strong across North America, LiUNA – the Labourers’ International Union of North America – is a powerhouse of highly-skilled men and women who proudly build stronger communities across various sectors, predominately in construction. Representing over 160,000 men and women in Canada, LiUNA continues to be a leading advocate for workplace health and safety. United through collective bargaining agreements, LiUNA members earn competing wages, good benefits and the opportunity for advancement and better futures. From roads to bridges, tunnels to high-rise, building essential transit and healthcare infrastructure, the highly skilled, diverse members of LiUNA build stronger, prosperous communities from the ground up and are essential to our country’s economic development and advancement. Learn more at

About the LiUNA Pension Fund of Central and Eastern Canada
Established in 1972, the LiUNA Pension Fund of Central and Eastern Canada (LPFCEC) is one of the fastest growing multi-employer pension funds across Canada, voted top 10 pension funds by Benefits Canada. With a diverse investment portfolio and over $12 billion in assets, LPFCEC has yielded positive returns for the plan, great work opportunities for LiUNA members, and has created many needed institutions across North America through a broad range of investments. Learn more at

About Fengate Asset Management
Fengate is a leading alternative investment manager, with more than $8 billion of capital commitments under management, focused on infrastructure, private equity, and real estate strategies. With offices in Ontario and Texas, Fengate has a proven track record of successful projects and partnerships, and an established reputation as one of the most active real asset investors and developers in North America. Fengate Real Estate, a division of Fengate Asset Management, has been strategically developing and managing real estate assets since 1974. Learn more at

About the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus
Founded in 1964, the University of Toronto Scarborough is an anchor institution in the eastern Greater Toronto Area. Situated in one of Toronto’s most diverse and multicultural neighbourhoods, the campus fosters a vibrant culture of community engagement. Here, students cross academic and geographic boundaries in their pursuit of knowledge. Experiential learning is one of the hallmarks of our approach to education. We are proud to be part of the University of Toronto, recognized as the most sustainable university in the world and Canada’s top university. U of T has a long history of challenging the impossible and transforming society through the ingenuity and resolve of its faculty, students, alumni and supporters. We are part of one of the top research-intensive universities, bringing together top minds from every conceivable background and discipline to collaborate on the world’s most pressing challenges. Together, we continue to defy gravity by taking on what might seem unattainable today and generating the ideas and talent needed to build a more equitable, sustainable and prosperous future.

Our campus is celebrating its 60th anniversary and 50 years of co-operative education this year. 
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Media inquiries:
Jennevieve Virata
Director, Marketing and Communications, Real Estate
Fengate Asset Management | +1 905 466 7527

Suniya Kukaswadia
Media Relations Strategist
University of Toronto Scarborough | +1 437 799 8209

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at

Harmony Commons Student Residence Aerial View Harmony Commons Student Residence Aerial View Harmony Commons Student Residence - Rooftop