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 Star 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?

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.


We are now offering innovative youth Conflict Resolution Workshops free of charge to schools across Ottawa, providing opportunities to communities and schools that do not always have access to museum programming. To continue to offer this program at no cost, we need your help. Visit our Canada Help donation page for details on how you can join us in our efforts to build a culture of peace.

Jesse Stewart  Wheels of Time (low) (640x607)
We are excited to launch 2015 with our second artist-in-residence, Jesse Stewart.  Jesse is an award-winning composer, percussionist, visual artist, sound artist, instrument builder, researcher, writer, and educator dedicated to re-imagining the spaces between artistic and academic disciplines. Over the coming months he will present a number of sound installations throughout the facility, incorporating audio sourced from the Museum’s archives.  Additionally, he will present a series of solo performances in some of the Museum’s most iconic spaces.  These will be documented and presented in an exhibition this summer. Photo: Tony Fouhse.


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!