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“Step back into the past”

Diefenbunker: Canada's Cold War Museum
Ranked #1 of 8 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 November 25, 2013

Interesting place to visit. A real step back to the past...furniture, computers, medical equipment all from a long past era. Some interesting tidbits of history to read through. It is out of town though...not the most convenient spot to visit as a tourist. We did a self guided tour, which was nice, it took us about 2 hours to wander through the exhibits and read the information...we didn't see anyone else while we were there which added a a cool, isolate feel to the tour.

1  Thank DrbigT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 25, 2013

I admit that I live 5 minutes from the Diefenbunker, but I still love going. I think I may have been 9 or 10 times. Everytime someone comes to visit I take them to the Diefenbunker and it seems that something new is always revealed. On this trip (I took a bunch of work colleagues) I discovered that there is a separate bunker underneath the guard house. It would have protected the gate guards if they failed to make it to the main bunker. (apparently they had 30 days of rations down there).
Make sure you allocate enough time to do this tour properly. Honestly, you need 2-3 hours to get you through everything. One hour means you will miss a lot. Yes, the gold store is fascinating and so is the medical centre and the control room and the decontamination area, but there are so many things tucked away in here. The computer room is great and the CBC broadcast facility is cool, the kitchens, the officers mess, the barrack rooms. I did not see the escape hatch on this tour, i hope health and safety have not ruled that one out! (It looks like the engine room is now off-limits due to H&S). There are lots of exhibits that help explain what it was like living under the threat of nuclear disaster.
This place is terrific for the kids and the family. A must-see if you visit the Ottawa area.
Quiz your tour guide to death, there are great stories and nooks and crannies, that you'll be fascinated by, but you might have to ask to see them....

4  Thank DaveJMurphy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2013 via mobile

We visited the Diefenbunker for the Remembrance Day service this year. What an eye-opener! I remember the sixties, but had no idea how serious our government was about the Cold War. The facility is almost all underground, entered through a long, corrugated blast tunnel designed to deflect damage from the bunker itself. The rest of the facility is on four levels, with a hospital, cafeteria, living quarters (spartan of course), comm centre, meeting rooms, offices, media centre and perhaps best of all, the Bank of Canada vault, where the service was held. Very impressive, with a walkable space surrounding the vault, encased in concrete, with monstrous doors, where the country's gold reserve could have been protected. From the decontamination area to the escape tunnel, it was fascinating, with a surreal ambiance that was more than a bit creepy.

Thank goodness someone had the foresight to save the Diefenbunker for future visitors to marvel at.

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

It's a lost era. When you walk in you can just imagine the life of fear one lived in the cold war era. The panic.

A lot of things aren't authentic (they had to buy it off somewhere else), but they give you the feel of the era. The tour was great, because you had an idea of what would have happened if there was an attack.

So what if there's a bit of dust? I thought it was much more authentic that way (actually I hadn't noticed dust much). This would be a great place to take teenagers and the like. My parents, who have survived nuclear bombs, thought it was great too.

1  Thank Melisa K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2013

Friend of mine, my wife and me went there, and we liked the visit. There is so much to learn about cold war, and it's a particular feeling to be in a bunker like that. A lot of artefacts were shown to public. It's also amazing to be in a museum which was built for a real atomic threat.

Few things I would improve: Visit by ourself might be hazardous to be easily lost between floors and miss rooms to visit, no restaurant and I didn't remember seeing restrooms somewhere in over 1 hour of visiting. Some guides seems to dislike french canadian people and were not very friendly with us even if we spoke English. We had a lot to see, but there is much more hidden we can't see like mecanic rooms and more. A bit disapointing on those aspects but it's still a good place to learn something and spend time.

We recommand it, perhaps we'll go back to do the tour again.

1  Thank belettte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelly E, Manager at Diefenbunker: Canada's Cold War Museum, responded to this reviewResponded November 6, 2013

Hi belettte, thank you for your feedback. I'm very sorry that you were disappointed with your visit. As a museum in the Ottawa area, we pride ourselves on being able to offer bilingual services as a way to offer the best possible experience to all of our visitors. While our bilingual visitor guide does indicate the presence of washrooms, staff is to also verbally indicate this to you upon entry. We will follow up with our staff to ensure that all key points are being covered for all guests in which ever language the visitor feels most comfortable.

The Machine room is off limits for health and safety reasons, but we will soon be installing a 3D walk through of the space so that visitors can see what it looks like inside. We hope that you come back and experience a guided tour!

I would be happy to discuss your concerns further, if you would like to contact me directly at k.balmer@diefenbunker.ca.

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