Diefenbunker: Canada's Cold War Museum

Carp - Hardwood Plains

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In a Nutshell

Historic bunker-turned-museum where the Canadian government would have been sheltered in the event of nuclear war

The Fine Print

Promotional value expires Aug 31, 2015. Amount paid never expires. Limit 1 per person, may buy 2 additional as gifts. Valid only for option purchased. Not valid with any other offers, specials or discounts. Applicable only for general admission; special events are excluded. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

Choose Between Two Options

  • C$15 for one-day admission for two (C$28 value)
  • C$25 for one-day family admission for two adults and up to five youths (C$40 value)

Diefenbunker: Canada's Cold War Museum

In the days when nuclear weapons were deemed an imminent threat, when Cold War tensions were running high and morale was running low, the Canadian government braced itself for the worst-case scenario. If an atomic bomb were to be launched toward North America, Canadian government officials would burrow deep underground, hibernate, play a few hands of poker, and regroup. The bunker built to receive them—whose chambers and tunnels lurk four storeys deep in the earth and stretch over more than 100,000 square feet—was named Diefenbunker.

Today, Diefenbunker’s 1960s-era cryptographic areas, computer room, Emergency Government Situation Centre, and living quarters ask visitors to muse on what could have been had a humanity-uniting alien invasion not brought an end to the Cold War. Guests walk the chilly hallways on their own or follow a tour guide, listening to echoes bounce off the ribbed steel of a cylindrical blast tunnel, wending their way through the prime minister’s personal quarters and the Bank of Canada vault, and gazing at a CBC radio studio, whose signals never needed to take over the airwaves.

The nuclear-shelter-cum-museum uses educational programming and events, such as a children’s spy camp, to educate those who remember the Cold War and those for whom it is as distant in history as the day George Washington announced that curlers were not just for women. Visitors to the national historic site can take a piece of their experience home by stopping in at The Cold War Store, where they can pick up nuclear-protest buttons, spy toys, and Cold War–era military-surplus items such as ration packs.

Customer Reviews

First time visitors. We really enjoyed our visit, well worth the money. Its amazing how large this underground facility is.
Lisa D. · January 8, 2016
Very interesting place with great tour guides - highly recommended.
Sean B. · September 1, 2015
Very interesting and our guide very informative. Tour ran 1.5 hours. Last tour is 2pm. Lots of walking.
Marion B. · August 31, 2015
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    Carp - Hardwood Plains

    3929 Carp Road

    Ottawa, ON K0A 1L0

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