The tunnel of the Diefenbunker in Carp.

A trip outside of Ottawa, in Carp, Ontario, Canada brought us to a truly amazing place called the Diefenbunker. It was a step back in time as we entered the long tunnel to this secret bunker built between 1959 and 1961, which was meant to protect government officials in the event of a nuclear attack.

Telephone room with the ”red phone” in the Diefenbunker

It was in 1958, at the height of the Cold War that Prime Minister John Diefenbaker authorized the creation of a shelter capable of withstanding a nuclear blast up to 5 megatons from 1.8 km away. The bunker could hold 565 people for about one month without requiring supplies from the outside world. Since there was a reduction of any nuclear threat, the bunker was decommissioned in 1994 and later opened as a museum in 1998. Over 45 000 visitors annually now walk through the four levels of the war museum. It is fascinating to walk through the underground hallways, rooms, medical facilities, cafeteria and offices. You can not miss the opportunity to take a photo as the Senior Govt. of Canada Rep and warn the world on the ”red phone”.

Diefenbunker bank vault

Some of the very interesting areas you will discover are the PM’s suite, the Military Federal Warning Centre, the Emergency Government Situation Centre, the CBC Emergency Broadcasting Studio and the Bank of Canada Vault. It is in this very cold Vault that all of the Gold from the Bank of Canada would be stored in the event of a nuclear attack.

The tech nerd in me was impressed by all of the dated technology. Walking through the data center was a surreal experience. The size of the computers was impressive, especially when they are probably not more powerful than a modern day cell phone.

If you are ever in the Ottawa, Canada area, do not hesitate to take a couple hours and tour the war museum. It is a great family activity. It will most certainly leave you with some food for thought. You can find more information on their website.