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“If you like Submarine Warfare, you'll be enthralled by this Atomic Corset”

Diefenbunker: Canada's Cold War Museum
Ranked #1 of 9 things to do in Carp
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Visit one of the most unique tourist attractions in Canada! Built to protect top officials of the Canadian government from nuclear attack, this once-secret underground bunker is now a museum & National Historic Site of Canada. Explore over 100,000sq ft of bunker secrets and relive the experience of the Cold War. With its extraordinary engineering and architectural features, the Diefenbunker is a poignant reminder of one of the most turbulent periods of modern history.
Reviewed February 16, 2013

In early February, I took a couple of friends from the Netherlands to visit this facility. The guide -a retired civil servant from the Navy- had ample knowledge of the place and had actually spent time while this Last Stand of the Cold War in Canada was operational. You're really transported through a tunnel-like capsule of what the political elites hallucinated about from the 1950s through early 90's. It's one of those places that one simply does not expect to find out in Carp, a location that is great farmland and little else. As soon as you go through the parking area and see the helicopter landing site, you get a sense that this place is very special indeed. Then again, I've seen similar structures built in Virginia in equally isolated communities. People with severe mobility issues might have difficulties navigating some of the stairs and some the confined spaces. I wouldn't recommend this place for toddlers but anybody over 7 yrs old should be able to enjoy themselves -under close parental supervision. There's a good family restaurant on the main road to the Diefenbunker. It's great for coffee and desserts. I think that the museum needs to develop a catalogue raisonee of the place. As it is, the printed materials I saw on display were not particularly attractive nor gave a full sense of what the place was about.

2  Thank windfootsteps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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822 - 826 of 983 reviews

Reviewed February 12, 2013

Anyone who wants to get a feel for what things were like in the cold war era has to visit the Diefenbunker! They have done an amazing job of refurbishing the bunker after it was decomissioned by the DND, and it gives you a great feel for what things were like when it was functional. As you enter, you are treated to old films showing the construction of the bunker, and there is a scale model on display. The staff are very friendly and knowledgeable about the facility. I had the privelege of doing the tour with an old neighbour of mine who worked in the bunker for a number of years and got a great insider's view of what life was like for those who worked in there.

It's a great way for a family or a group to spend a day.

2  Thank OttCanfoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2013

A friend of mine and I had been just before Hallowe'en and had seen the uppermost level of the bunker. However, we had to cut the visit short because they were closing early to host a "Zombies at the Bunker" evening for local kids.

This was the second time we visited and we arrived just in time for a guided tour of the lower three levels of the bunker. We had a very good tour guide who was very knowledgeable about the museum.

The tour, and the museum, were interesting on a number of levels. There was the whole revisiting the technology of my youth, like electric typewriters and rotary dial phones, both of which seem to have passed into history. There was the aspect of how antiquated the "state-of-the-art" technology used when the bunker was operational seems now--for example, the computer room with less storage than my laptop. And there is the whole what-if aspect, had there ever been reason to use the bunker for its original purpose.

There are a number of displays talking about how close we came with, for example, the Cuban Missile Crisis. In addition, there are displays about home preparedness for Canadians in the event of an attack as well as a model home bomb shelter.

The designers did their best to ensure that the 535 men and women who would have been in the bunker in that case would make it through the first 30 days after an exchange. And it is certainly intriguing to understand what those preparations entailed, but I have the feeling that despite all the prep work and the psychology behind it, things would not have gone as smoothly as people envisioned/designed for/hoped. This is a very interesting place to visit, but when you think of the might-have-beens, it's also kind of depressing.

2  Thank WildCanadian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2013

This place worth the visit. Absolutly! It's open only on week end, because the place is managed by volontaries, but the visit is very very interesting and surprising. It's like to enter in a forbiden world.

3  Thank FrancineCraig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2013

What a great attraction! Go back in time into the Cold War Era! This museum is different than any other ones we’ve ever been to. Huge underground nuclear shelter, 4 levels containing everything the governing elite would need to survive for a month in case the world went up in a mushroom shaped cloud… Through the blast tunnel you get into the main facility containing decontamination showers and chamber, radio rooms, examination and x-ray rooms, conference room, numerous offices, dorms and bedrooms, cafeteria, fully equipped kitchen, and… classroom size vault for bank of Canada gold reserve, just in case 
Great place to see how thing were 50 years ago, an interactive history lesson for the kids and grownups alike.

2  Thank Agnes T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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