This daytrip may be the closest you ever get to feeling like a spy.
As you step into this underground nuclear protection facility (3911 Carp Rd., Carp ON), you will feel like you have just been transported back in time to be an informant during the Cold War era. Whether you decide to work for the Russians or the Canadians is up to you. After all, it’s your day trip.
At the time, Canadian prime minister John Diefenbaker authorized the creation of close to 50 of these facilities to hide and protect members of government in the event of a nuclear attack. This is one of them, and perhaps the crown jewel.
The real attraction of this off-the-radar spot is the freedom and trust that’s been laid down by management. They allow visitors to walk where they please, and touch anything they’d like, right down to sitting in the prime minister’s desk, or operating the helm in the Dr. Strangelove-esque war room. You can even hang out in the bunker’s kitchen and play the board games that were offered for some good ol’ 1960s fun.
Completed in 1962, the CFS Carp military facility (now affectionately known as The Diefenbunker) is located in Carp, Ontario, just 30 kilometres west of Ottawa. The four-storey bunker has been open to the public since about 1998.
The bunker was built to accommodate at least 565 people for up to one month without additional supplies from the presumably radioactive outside world. It included an emergency broadcast studio for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and a vault to hold the gold reserves for the Bank of Canada.
According to Diefenbunker’s staff, the Cold War museum is intended “to increase throughout Canada and the world, interest in and a critical understanding of the Cold War, by preserving the Diefenbunker as a national historic site, and operating as a ColdWarMuseum.”
The Diefunbunker often holds pretty cool seasonal events such as a Spring Break Camp for Spies, Cold War movies, and possibly the best Easter egg hunt ever. So check out the bunker’s website for the latest.
Hours of Operation
Open 7 days per week from 11 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
We are closed Christmas Day & New Years Day
University / College Students: $10
Youth (6-18): $8
Family rate (max. 2 adults, max. 3 youth): $40
Children 5 and under free
Guided Tours/Audio tours
Guided tours are free with admission.
Monday – Friday: 11:00am & 2:00pm
Saturday & Sunday: 11:00am (French & English), 1 p.m. & 2 p.m.