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?


Our toilets are pooped, and NEED YOUR HELP!
Every detail of this 100,000 square foot underground facility was carefully designed, including its truly remarkable toilets. That’s right – its toilets. The Diefenbunker’s historic toilets are mounted on a one-inch thick, hard rubber pads and have flexible connections to the main system so they can’t break or disconnect in case of an explosion (insert potty humour here). Learn more about a Toilet Tale here. Or donate right now at


ANNOUNCING – “Escape the Diefenbunker”
The Diefenbunker and Escape Manor have partnered to launch the World’s Largest Escape Room! The experience runs Wednesday through Sunday evenings and resides within our 100,000 square foot facility. Staying true to our historic roots, this elaborate endeavor is themed around espionage… Read more!


Welcoming Anna Frlan as our 2016 Artist-in-Residence
Anna Frlan is a sculptor of steel, dedicated to transforming this surprisingly pliable material through a process-oriented studio practice. The daughter of Croatian émigrés, she is currently exploring the connection between industrial steel and twentieth-century weaponry production.


Summer Spy Camp Registration is open! Your kids will LOVE all the activities to help them become Jr. Sleuths – see the confidential details here! The cost is only $225.00/child/week and includes FREE before and after care. REGISTER TODAY!


WE WON! The Diefenbunker is proud 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! Read the OMA Media Release for full details!

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.


AMAZING! The Diefenbunker was one of the featured stops on The Amazing Race Canada Season 2 finale! We were very 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!