Archive for June, 2012

Did you know that employees at Canadian Forces Station (CFS) Carp were only allowed to invite their family members to see their underground workplace one day per year? That day was Canada Day!

As employees of CFS Carp were obligated to keep their work secret from their friends and family, we are now happy to reveal the perspective of the former “Bunker” employees in our oral history video clips. Cool off in the War Cabinet room and see what workers had to say about being stationed here.

Who would you invite to the Bunker?

Dear Mom,
Just wanted to give you a shout out from underground! How’s the weather out there?
Come visit soon!
Love, Olive

That’s right! We want to know if you had to choose only one person to bring with you into the Bunker, who would it be? You can add your response to our special post card wall and check out who others would choose!

Design your own Bunker postcard!

Take the opportunity to make a personalized Bunker postcard featuring you in our blast tunnel and mail it to friends with a custom CFS Carp stamp!

Family Fun!

Get your face painted, play outdoor games and enjoy icy snow-cones!

K0A Postal Code gets in FREE!

In the spirit of keeping the family ties, the Diefenbunker extends an invitation to all those who live in the K0A postal area to come see our humble abode FREE of charge, simply present a piece of mail or valid identification indicating a K0A postal code at Guard House.

Regular admission costs apply.
Museum Members and Connexion Card holders get in FREE.

Hours: 11:00am – 4:00pm

For more information on Canada Day, Writing Home to Mom, please contact us at 613.839.0007 or at


Have you ever wondered how many people can fit in the Diefenbunker?

Originally, it was built to be “home” to 535 military and government officials for 30 days, but when we first opened as a museum in 1998, fire code only allowed for 60 people at one time.

In 2010, we underwent a huge retrofit to our fire and safety systems and increased our capacity to 420. This year, on June 2 and 3, we put that capacity to the test!

The Diefenbunker has been a popular site for Doors Open Ottawa for many years. This annual event allows free access to over 150 sites in the National Capital region for one weekend.

Volunteers demonstrating Morse code at the DiefenbunkerAll hands were on deck for this very important weekend at the Diefenbunker. We provided 6 guided tours an hour led by excellent staff and volunteer interpreters. When space ran out on the guided tours, visitors were allowed in to self-guide.  There was retro candy, vintage wear and Diefenbunker branded goods for sale in our newly relocated boutique. Our radio volunteers were hard at work, operating all day and teaching visitors about ham radio and Morse code.

4 Doors Open Sites in Carp!

We were one of four Doors Open Ottawa sites in Carp this year, and visitors came out by the hundreds to see us each day. On Saturday, we were amazed by the arrival of over 1,300 visitors.

On Sunday morning, riding on the excitement and energy of the day before, we issued a challenge on Twitter for Ottawans to come out and help us beat Saturday’s record.

And it worked! On Sunday we had 1,420 visitors.

This brought our grand total up to a record-breaking 2,777 visitors in one weekend.

Visitors waiting to enter the museum at Doors Open Ottawa 2012

All staff and volunteers worked incredibly hard to make sure that all 2,777 visitors learned a little something about the Cold War and left with a smile on their face. Despite the rain, there was a sea of smiling faces underground that weekend.

It was a great opportunity for us to test our operations at capacity, and see what it really was like to have 420 people inside at once. On Sunday afternoon around 3pm, we did reach capacity with over 400 visitors inside the bunker for about twenty minutes. With 4 stories and 100,000 square feet you could barely even tell!

The Iron Curtain

Posted: June 18, 2012 in Cold War, Cold War Movies

Did you know that the Cold War began in Ottawa?

The Iron CurtainShot in Ottawa and released in May 1948, The Iron Curtain movie depicts the true story of one of the greatest events in Canadian history, the defection of Igor Gouzenko on September 5, 1945.  As an encoding clerk working in a secret department within the Soviet Embassy on Charlotte street Gouzenko was aware of much of the Russian espionage network in Canada, Europe and the USA.  The movie captures the changing beliefs of Gouzenko who came to realize that Canadians were no threat to the Soviet Union and how the Soviet communist system was not what he thought it was.  His defection was at great risk to himself and his family and almost didn’t succeed.   A fascinating true account of what many regard as the start of the Cold War.

Join us on Tuesday June 19 at 7:00pm to watch
The Iron Curtain.

Optional guided tour: 6pm
Movie: 7pm.
Cost: $15 for Tour & Movie, $8 Movie only
3911 Carp Road, Carp ON, K0A 1L0

Gouzenko home and plaque on Somerset Street

Wait there is more!

In the future, take some time to view the City of Ottawa and the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaques placed across from Gouzenko’s apartment at 511 Somerset Street West in order to commemorate this historic event.  While you are watching the movie, we invite you to think of his future daughter’s visit to the Diefenbunker which she made in 2004.

Still wondering what you are going to do for Father’s Day this Sunday? Don’t worry we’ve got you covered (pun intended)!

Here is your “West is Best” itinerary for the Day:

11:30am: Man-fast

Every great man needs to start his day off right with FOOD! Head to the Cheshire Cat’s newly renovated patio for a pint of beer and some Bangers and Mash. For the daring palette, you can have Dad try their Elk, Ale & Wild Mushroom Pie!

12:45 – 3:00pm: Visit the Ultimate Man Cave, The Diefenbunker

CanonFor all those with a technological bent, Father’s Day will be an exciting day with lots of big cool stuff on display. The Swords and Ploughshares Museum will be bringing military vehicles and parking them on our helipad. The good folks of the Swords and Ploughshares Museum will be around to chat about the vehicles, and how Canadians have served our country in the pursuit of peace and democracy.

Take your pick! The Diefenbunker guides will offer special military history tours at 11am, 12pm, 1pm & 2pm. Not into guided tours? That’s okay, take your dad and get lost underground in our 100,000 square feet nuclear blast shelter. Or if you are hungry (again), we have special Diefenburgers too, because there’s nothing that says “Dad” quite like a good dose of hot sauce.

3:00pm – Because we all want to feel like kids again…

Once you make your way out of the Bunker, head south down Carp Road to Twisty Cream for ice cream. This is your chance to tell your Dad that you really do appreciate him and everything he has done for you.