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!

What’s new at the Diefenbunker?


SHOUT OUT TO The great City of Ottawa and our amazing City Ward Councillor, Eli El-Chanitiry!
We at the Diefenbunker want to send out a big thank you to the City of Ottawa for supplying us with the Rural Community Building Grant.  This grant allowed us to hire three firms to write 3 reports which will greatly enhance our abilities to conserve, preserve, and move forward as a National Historic Site.  Thank you too to our amazing City Ward Councillor Eli El Chantiry for his ongoing support.  We are truly grateful!



Diefenbunker tour recognized as a new Ontario Signature Experience
The Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation (OTMPC) has launched Ontario Signature Experiences (OSE) to promote and market must-see travel experiences that will appeal to global target markets.  The OSE program is designed to showcase the best and most unique tourism experiences in the province that will motivate more people to visit Ontario.

For further details visit



We are thrilled to announce we are finalists for Ottawa Tourism’s 2014 “Partnership of the Year” award for our partnerships with both Haunted Walks Ottawa and One World Dialogue. Results will be announced at an award ceremony at the Ottawa Conference & Event Centre on April 24. Congratulations to all finalists!



We’ve launched a new app! It’s available through iTunes and Android downloads. It’s free to download and gives a full virtual tour of the closed machine room, audio tours and upcoming events.
» Be the first of your friends to have it! 



This past November, we welcomed our first ever artist-in-residence, Gail Bourgeois.  Gail has been spending time with us at the Bunker, touring the site and exploring our collection, archives and library to inform a new series she is developing for her upcoming exhibition, To warn other Canadians – open in April.
» Read more… 



Our exhibition, Shelter Me, was accepted into the Community Exhibits Program at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.   The home shelter-themed exhibit will be on display at the LAO from March to July.  Check it out if you’re in the Queen’s Park neighbourhood this spring!


Ontario Trillium Foundation

We’re the proud recipients of an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant!  We will receive $34,700 over one year to support the development and delivery of conflict-resolution workshops in order to build problem-solving and conflict- resolution skills in children and youth.