The Museum will be closed on December 25th and January 1st , and will close at 12pm on December 24th and 30th. Closed Mondays in January and February.


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?


We’d like to invite artists to submit applications for our 2016 artist residency. Established in 2014, the Diefenbunker Artist-in-Residence Program fosters connections between the Museum, local artists, and the wider Ottawa community through the creation and presentation of art inspired by this National Historic Site and its history. APPLY 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! To learn more about this incredible program please visit our website

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.


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.


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!