A Bird’s Eye View of Stratford 150 Years Ago 

The original map was created by Herman Brosius in 1872. By enlarging the map, you will be able to recognize many of the buildings that are still standing and many that are now gone. 

enlarged view of aerial map, Stratford, 1872

An enlarged view of the city centre. The original city hall is in the same location as the present one. It is the building with the bell tower in the upper left quadrant. The jail, then located between William and Elizabeth Streets is in the lower left. 

Stratford city hall, 1857

A photo of the original city hall built in 1857. It was destroyed by fire in 1897. Compare the photo to the drawing of the building in Brosius’ map. 

East panorama 1894
South panorama 1894

Herman Brosius (1851 – 1917) was an American artist known for his high-perspective, bird’s eye view maps of towns and cities that were printed by his twin brother, Frederick, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

His work is held in collections of Library and Archives Canada, Brock University, and the Museum of Wisconsin Art.

In 1875 he published 15 colour lithographic views, of which six were Ontario locations where he spent much time between the years 1872-1876. These included; Stratford, St. Thomas, St. Catharines, Guelph, Brantford, and Ottawa.

St. Thomas, Ontario

At the age of 21, Brosius walked the streets of Stratford drawing the buildings and the layout of the streets. These were later assembled to create a bird’s eye view map with 3D buildings lining the streets. The view is much the same as would be taken by a drone today.