Tour the Diefenbunker virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic
The main tunnel to the Diefenbunker, Canada's Cold War Museum, in Carp, Ont., on Wednesday, July 8, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
OTTAWA -- It’s your chance to tour a piece of Canadian history from the comfort of your own home.
While the historic museum remains closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can now checkout the Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War museum virtually.
Travis Gobeil is a fan of the museum, which is located in rural-west Ottawa, “It’s like stepping into history, to be perfectly cheesy about it.”
He loves the underground museum so much, that he decided to get married there,
“And I didn’t even have to be like, eeeee; she was just like, let’s do it!”
And that’s not all he did. Gobeil also photographed the entire museum, using a 360-degree camera, which has been turned into a virtual tour of the four-storey museum..
“Just being able to bring the Diefenbunker to other people makes me really happy,” says Gobeil.
With the museum temporarily closed because of COVID-19, executive director Christine McGuire says the virtual tour still allows anyone to visit the Diefenbunker.
“You can walk through the halls and really explore the museum like you were there, from the comfort of your home.”
To see a piece of history, which is even more important now.
“What makes the Diefenbunker so special is that it’s such a crucial and critical piece of Canadian history, and it was the centre for emergency preparedness - so it is so relevant, given our current climate today,” McGuire said.
A climate, which McGuire is hopeful will soon allow the doors to be open to the public.
“We’ve already come up with a re-opening plan, so we’ve developed this, but our main priority is going to be the health and safety of our visitors, our volunteers, and our staff.”
That plan includes social distancing markers, extra sanitization, and protective equipment for staff, volunteers, and visitors. The Diefenbunker is also looking at ways to make the summer day camp for kids safe.
“We already have lots of outdoor time. We’re coming up with really fun social distancing activities for the kids, and it’s in an area that’s away from the public.”
But for now, you can get ready to see the museum in person, by exploring online, as Gobeil is excited to share.
“That’s why I did this - to be able to share it with the world.”