We had been told not to miss this relic from the past as, as we traveled to Ottawa and indeed, it did not disappoint. Having previously visited Churchill’s War Rooms in London, we did not know exactly what to expect.
Arriving around 12:30 on a Friday, we were there in time for the wrap up of the 11:00 Am tour, but too early for the 2:00 PM tour, so picked up an iPod style hand held guide, which turned out to be pretty much perfect for the tour.
The Diefenbunker construction was ordered by Prime Minister John G. Diefenbaker (hence the nickname. In his memoirs, he always lamented that he could not convince the Canadian people of how real the cold war threat was.
CFS Carp (the Diefenbunker was a 100,000 square foot, 4 story bunker built between 1958 and 1961. It required 5,000 tonnes of steel and 24,000 tonnes of concrete and was supposed to be able to survive a 5 Megaton blast. It was decommissioned n 1994 and slated for demolition, but the municipality persuaded the government to keep it as a museum and it remains to this day, offering a glimpse into the Cold War era. Longer post to follow once I return home from my travels.