Diefenbunker, Canada's Cold War Museum


Business Number: 869747691RR0001

Our Mission

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 a Cold War Museum.

About the Diefenbunker, Canada's Cold War Museum and National Historic Site of Canada

For many decades, Canadians knew next to nothing of their country’s defence against a nuclear attack. Buried 75 feet underground for close to  60 years, the Diefenbunker was built to protect our government, our leaders, and the very essence of our national identity. From it, we would steer ourselves away from annihilation -- or so we thought at the time.

In 1994, the veil of secrecy was lifted when the Diefenbunker was decommissioned. Now visitors can explore its underground hallways, sleeping quarters, operations rooms, and the massive vault built to contain all of Canada’s gold reserves. Concealed in the rural village of Carp in Ottawa, this four-level underground subterranean command centre is a startling reminder of how close the world came to nuclear destruction – and how diplomacy helped avert disaster.

In 1994, the government sold the site to the local Township of West Carleton; through the hard work of the community, the Diefenbunker was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1997. The Historic Sites and Monuments Board named it “the most important surviving Cold War site in Canada”.

This massive atomic-age artifact reminds us how close humanity came to global annihilation and our mission has never been clearer: to champion a new form of engagement, one of collaboration, connection, and communication. 

Today, the Museum is a women-led charitable museum that has been operating for 21 years, this one of a kind experiential learning environment, coupled with multi-award winning programs, events, and exhibitions draw in about 80,000 visitors from around the world annually.

The Diefenbunker is an economic and tourist driver for rural Ottawa and central hub for the community and a resource for local organizations and people.  

What People Are Saying

"A wonderful museum with critical national history"

— David N, GoFundMe campaign donor

"I donated because the Diefenbunker is my favourite historical building in the NCR. I love wandering through the hallways that have preserved in the past."

— Jenn W, GoFundMe campaign donor

"It's like unlocking a new level in your favourite video game."

— Elise, Machine Room Project donor

"Thanks for keeping this museum in a condition that keeps it open to the public."

— Les O., volunteer and online donor

"Thank you for preserving our amazing history! I hope to visit again soon!"

— Justin N., CanadaHelps donor

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