Last Trip: The Death of Alfred Bonenfant / 7: The Departure
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Above: Map of Alfred Bonenfant's likely route from the post office cab stand (A) to the American House hotel (B), where he stopped for a drink, and then to Aylmer Road (C) . Below: The McDougal and Cuzner hardware store at 3 to 5 Duke Street, corner of Bridge Street, in 1896. The American House was located at the same address in 1908 and may even have occupied the same building if it survived the 1900 fire.


Top: Base map: "Ottawa," from Baedeker, Karl, The Dominion of Canada with Newfoundland and an Excursion to Alaska, Leipsic, 1894 (University of Texas at Austin, Perry-Casteņada Map Collection, Bottom: Corner of Bridge and Duke Streets, 1896 (Topley Studio / Library and Archives Canada /PA-027801). The hardware store and its street address are identified in Crossroads: A Photo Album of Lebreton Flats and the Chaudiere District.

Last Trip: The Death of Alfred Bonenfant / 7

The Departure

The map at left shows Alfred Bonenfant's likely route down Wellington Street to the Aylmer Road. The route turned northwest along Duke Street and then north along Bridge Street. Bridge Street crossed the Ottawa River on the Chaudière Bridge, becoming Rue du Pont on the Hull side.

Bonenfant was evidently in no hurry to pick up McMillan because at 9:50 p.m. he stopped at the American House hotel at the corner of Bridge and Duke and ordered a shot of "white wheat whiskey" to fortify himself for the journey.

Bonenfant would not have left the Post Office stand for a drink because he would not have wanted to miss a trip. Now that he was sure of a fare he had an opportunity to take a quick break.

In any case experience may have told the cab driver that a drunken "resort" customer would not be ready to leave no matter when the cab arrived. McMillan was reported to have quarrelled with the driver who brought him from Ottawa so Bonenfant may even have had a shrewd idea of who his customer was, either through his own knowledge or from conversations with other drivers.

Duke Street was all but obliterated by the great Ottawa-Hull fire of 1900. From here over the bridge and into Hull Bonenfant drove through a resurrected city made up of buildings repaired or newly built in the years since the fire.

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