Did you know that our province has a top-secret bunker that was built in case of a nuclear attack? The now-turned-museum is located in Carp, Ontario and you can explore the facility. Here’s what to know.

Just a short drive away from Ottawa is the village of Carp, Ontario in the Township of Huntley. According to the village’s official website, it sits on the edge of the Carp Escarpment which is “a geological fault running through the Carp River Valley.”

Though Carp is well known for its Farmer’s Market held during the spring and fall seasons, its other main attraction is the Diefenbunker, located at 3929 Carp Road.

According to the village, it was built in the 1960s “to house the principals of the Federal Government in the event of a nuclear attack.”

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It was commissioned by Prime Minister John Diefenbaker in 1959 due to escalating tensions in the Cold War.

“The bunker was designed and engineered by the Foundation Company of Canada, and the project was led by LCol Ed Churchill. The entire construction process took less than 18 months, and was the first recorded use of critical path construction methodology in Canada,” according to the Diefenbunker Museum site.

“The bunker is 100,000 square feet over four levels. It is made of 32,000 cubic yards of hand–poured concrete and 5,000 tons of steel.”

It was built to withstand a five-megaton nuclear blast from 1.8 kilometers away, per the museum.


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During its 32 years of use, it was also the base for the Canadian Forces Station (CFS) Carp, with about 100 to 150 people on staff.

“It was the site of some of Canada’s most top-secret communications throughout the Cold War,” states the museum.

“At all times during its operation, the cupboards and pantries were stocked with enough fresh food and rations to feed 535 people for 30 days, and the building was prepared to go into lockdown at any moment.”

The bunker was decommissioned in 1994.

Now visitors are welcome to explore the museum from Wednesday to Sunday.

Make sure to pay Carp a visit as the weather gets warmer or you find yourself in Ottawa. It’s just a 40-minute drive away.