After a decade of emptiness in a small NWT town there a place to sit down and grab a bite to eat.

Annie Steen, economic development officer for Tuktoyaktuk, said the community has been busy preparing for the influx of tourists once the new highway is completed. Stewart Burnett/NNSL photo

End of the Road Ltd. is placed where the name says: at the end of the recently finished highway between Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk.

The highway opens officially on Nov. 15.

The restaurant started out as a small shop, selling convenience items to the 900 person community and then grew to include a takeout menu specializing in traditional fast foods such as pizza and hamburgers.

The restaurant isn’t the only change coming to the hamlet.

Tuktoyaktuk Mayor Darrel Nasogaluak said the End of The Road restaurant will make way for more tourism to the area.

“It’s amazing how quick the process goes by,” said Nasogaluak. “It’s been a very rewarding process… we are expecting one or two more restaurants to follow.”

With the highway finally opening, the hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk is encouraging all people of the NWT to unite with the community.

“We are looking forward to having former members of the community drive back to celebrate during the summer,” said Nasogaluak. “We are planning to have a music festival and perhaps an art festival during the summer.”

Nasogaluak is hopeful that with the addition of new restaurants and the plan of opening a private hotel, tourism will come back in abundance to the hamlet.

Annie Steen, economic development officer for Tuktoyaktuk said the hamlet is also looking to turn the community’s historic sod house into a tourist experience, she adds these additions are necessary to enhance the land.

“(Tourists) want to experience the Inuvialuit way of life,” she said. “We believe in taking care of the land. Sometimes you don’t really notice things are going astray until you have new eyes on it.”

– with files from Stewart Burnett

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