Foundation fundraiser transforms Caruso into old-time market
While the Borgia was known for its market area, Sawchuk recalls it also had a seedy side. The “girls of the evening” would hang off the balcony of the Queen's Hotel and wave to the clients on the street below, he said.
The Borgia was demolished in the 1960s to make way for what's now the Rainbow Centre Mall.
Sawchuk's memories of the area came to the forefront March 21 as he attended Rue Taste Street, a Health Sciences North Foundation fundraiser with an “old time Borgia Market street party” theme.
“I think it's a great idea,” said Sawchuk, a local architect and artist.
“I think we should be reminded of our past. There are so many colourful things about our story that we're missing simply because the remnants of our past are being destroyed.”
Health Sciences North Foundation executive director Mary-Lou Hussak said her organization wanted to put on a 1950s-themed event, and thought about how they could match that up with Sudbury's history. “We just came up with the Borgia Market,” she said.
The venue where Rue Taste Street was held — the Caruso Club — really did have the atmosphere of a busy market during the event.
Local restaurants and businesses set up tables decorated to resemble old-fashioned market stalls.
Participants dressed in 1950s costumes crowded around the stalls to taste their fare.
The event also featured live entertainment and auctions.
Rue Taste Street was in benefit of Health Sciences North's Medical Simulation Laboratory. Hussak said she hoped to raise $70,000 for new simulation equipment though the event.
The hospital had a medical simulation display set up at the event — including interactive medical mannequins — so participants could see where their donations were going.
Health Sciences North CEO Dr. Denis Roy said the simulation laboratory is crucial to the hospital.
The facility teaches medical learners to do procedures without the risk of injuring patients in the process, he said. Funds for new equipment is always appreciated, Roy said.
Rue Taste Street is a “marvellous” event, he said.
As someone who's relatively new to Sudbury, Roy said he doesn't know what the Borgia Market was like, but said it couldn't have been much different than the St. Laurent or St. Denis markets in his native Montreal.