Lazaro’s Dream


Lazaro’s Dream is a free, downloadable audio tour of Toronto’s Danforth neighbourhood that takes Michael Ondaatje’s iconic, award-winning novel In the Skin of a Lion as its foundation, and turns the streets of the Danforth into the backdrop of an immersive narrative for the listener. Ondaatje himself is also a voice on the audio walk.

The piece fuses memories of Toronto with original fiction & archival reimaginings, leaving the listener casually drifting through a hundred years of regional history. Scattered throughout the walk fragments of Ondaaje’s iconic text seem to float up to the surface of perception guiding the listener along through the murky world of Lazaro’s Dream.

Lazaro’s Dream is presented by the Koffler Centre of the Arts & Project Bookmark Canada, produced by Angela Shackel of Accounts and Records & written by Jules Lewis.

See photos from the public launch event.



Download the audio to your device. Grab your headphones. Head to the Bookmark for In the Skin of a Lion at Broadview and Danforth – just west of Broadview station, north side of the street. Let the audio gently guide you on a thrilling audio narrative voiced in part by Ondaatje himself.


LAZARO'S DREAM TRAILER | Watch the promotional trailer for Lazaro's Dream, presented in collaboration with Project Bookmark Canada.
THE THREAD OF A HUM | Artist duo Soft Turns respond to In the Skin of a Lion, the novel by Michael Ondaatje that inspired Lazaro's Dream.
WRITTEN BY JULES LEWIS | Jules Lewis is the author of the novel Waiting for Ricky Tantrum and the play Tomasso's Party, which received a Dora Award for Outstanding New Independent Production. His writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Canadian Notes and Queries and other publications.

PRODUCED BY ANGELA SHACKEL | In its beginnings Accounts and Records was a thematic podcast featuring narratives, round-table discussions and interviews. The project was responding to that fact that I’m constantly inspired and moved by the stories of my friends, coworkers and acquaintances. I love surprising personal histories, hilarious anecdotes and clever commentary divulged casually over dinner tables, on the subway, or by text message. My initial plunge into podcasting took these informal stories and gave them form by placing them in a narrative or larger discussion in a focused way. Connecting well with people through great conversations is my favourite thing. I rebel against a culture where everyone works in isolation; I prefer collaboration, and feel that conversation is one of the best modes we have for challenging each other’s perspectives. As a child I would spend hours entertaining my (significantly) older brothers about stories from grade school. To hold their attention, I started learning about pacing, punchlines, ideas and good characters being key to having your audience’s listening commitment. I have also always been fascinated by time and memory; preserving ideas, thoughts, and events has always been a priority for me. Working in recorded audio allows me to do what I was already doing socially -- editing and retelling stories, events or news items -- in order to connect with people.

VISUALS BY BRADEN LABONTE | Born in Vancouver, British Colombia in 1982, Braden Labonte earned his BFA from OCAD University in 2006, and his MFA from York University in 2012. After his formal studies, Braden took the position of Creative Director for the Cultural Capital Consortium, an art collective that works to fund and promote artistic research and independent art projects on an international level. In 2013, Labonte and the Cultural Capital Consortium created the audience interactive, site specific, temporal public installation HOLD ON HOLD ON, SOME THINGS LAST FOREVER in the old BBC London headquarters in England that was slated for demolition. His artwork playfully considers the historical moorings and confused identity of contemporary artistic institutions and creative practices. Labonte’s artistic output spans across a diverse field of media from painting and photography, to Internet based projects, as well as immersive installations. His work has been exhibited in Canada, the United States, Italy, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.