Ottawa’s Most Unique Historical Site

The Diefenbunker is a four-story, 300 room, 100,000 square foot underground bunker, and was meant to house 535 Canadian government officials and military officers in the event of a nuclear war. Shrouded in mystery, the Diefenbunker, nicknamed after then Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, was designed and built in secrecy during the crest of Cold War fear, between 1959 and 1961. The name of the facility was given by a Toronto Telegram journalist who exposed a story of its development. Want to know more? Visit us for a tour!

Watch our teaser trailer for a quick peek into our underground bunker! Thanks Ottawa Tourism for the great video!

What’s new at the Diefenbunker?


ANNOUNCING – “Escape the Diefenbunker”
The bomb drops March 9th 2016 as we and Ottawa’s premier escape room company, Escape Manor, partner to launch the World’s Largest Escape Room. The experience will run Thursday through Sunday evenings and reside within our 100,000 square foot facility. Staying true to our historic roots, this elaborate endeavor will be themed around espionage… Read more!


Although the Diefenbunker was built to withstand a nuclear blast at the height of the Cold War, sudden winter storms and poor road conditions do occasionally force us to close our blast doors. Over the winter months, we encourage visitors to check our website or call the Museum in advance of any visit to confirm our hours. Thank you!


Early Bird March Break Spy Camp Registration is open! Your kids will LOVE all the activities to help them become a Jr. Sleuth – see the confidential details here! We are now accepting FULL WEEK registrations. SINGLE DAY camp registrations begin February 22nd, 2016. The cost is only $225.00/child/week or $50/child/day. REGISTER TODAY!


We are honoured to have received the Ontario Museum Association‘s Award of Excellence in Programs for our Conflict Resolution Workshops with WOW Distinction. Congratulations to our Conflict Resolution team, and to all the other excellent OMA award recipients!

We are honoured to have joined the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, a global network of historic sites, museums, and memory initiatives connecting past struggles to today’s movements for human rights and social justice. Visit the Coalition’s website for more details on its mission and member sites – we are one of only three in Canada!

The Ottawa Museums and Archives virtual collections catalogue has been launched, and we are excited to be one of the 11 community or city-run museums to be contributing digitized records and a wide range of artefacts. There are already 34,000 active records to view and that’s just the beginning! Visit the site and please let us know what you think.


We won! A huge thank you to all of our supporters for voting us Tourism Business of the Year – West Carleton at the West Ottawa Board of Trade People’s Choice Business Awards. For a full list of winners, click here.


AMAZING! The Diefenbunker was one of the featured stops on The Amazing Race Canada Season 2 finale! We were extremely excited to participate and share in the adventure with the finalists! If you missed our prime time debut, you can watch the episode on CTVOnline!