Toronto Life - The Dish

The latest buzz on restaurants, chefs, bars, food shops and food events. Sign up for the Dish newsletter for weekly updates. Send tips to

Random Stuff


The Politics of Cheese: you may pay more for delivery pizza in 2014

(Image: SteFou!)

(Image: SteFou!)

Unbeknownst to most Canadians, there’s been a quiet war brewing in this country over the price of pizza cheese. On one side, Pizza Pizza Ltd.; on the other, 12,500 very angry dairy farmers.

Under Canada’s controversial supply management system, cheese imports from the U.S. are usually subjected to an almost 250 per cent tariff. For the past year, however, Pizza Pizza and other fast-food pizza companies have been bringing cheap mozzarella across the border tax-free. They’ve done so by legally exploiting a loophole that exempted pre-made “topping kits” from the regular tax. Provided the cheese was packaged with a few slices of pepperoni, it technically fell under the Canadian Border Service Agency’s definition of “food preparations,” and was allowed to enter the country duty-free. According to enraged dairy lobbyists, these sneaky imports have grabbed up to 12 per cent of the fresh pizza cheese market in Canada.

That stopped on November 29, when the government changed the definition of “food preparations” and effectively plugged the regulatory hole.

Unsurprisingly, members of the food service biz aren’t terribly pleased with the decision. Garth Whyte, president of the Restaurant and Foodservices Association, told the Globe and Mail that he sees the move as a backhanded attempt to make nice with dairy farmers, who are still pouting over a possibly damaging free trade deal that was negotiated with the European Union earlier this year. Whatever the reason for the change, the result is that pizza companies will now be forced to buy their cheese at home, where it sells for about 30 per cent more than in the U.S.—a price that may well be passed on to the pizza-eating public.

  • Flootie McTootie

    Anyone ordering Pizza Pizza deserves everything bad that happens to them.

  • kiefer

    Or just order from Enzo in Queen West and don’t worry about eating the cheap cheese

  • Anonymooser

    I moved from Ottawa to Vancouver and there’s no more Pizza Pizza here! Instead there is a chain called “Fresh Slice”. The pizza is great value and tastes amazing. Fatty dripping goodness for a good price. I feel bad for Ontario, Pizza Pizza was dry as a rock.

  • jason

    Domino’s Pizza is the best in Ontario…… PIZZA PIZZA

  • Jason Boyd

    God forbid Canadian companies start using Canadian made supplies lol

  • Radio_Mime

    Have you tried Panago? Mmmmm!

  • Jordan

    Pizza Nova for the win! Best chain Pizza in GTA.

  • ATadLate

    Haven’t ordered pizza….or even eaten pizza for about six years. Not worried if the price goes up, except for family and friends of course. Enjoy!!!

  • mamamia

    There’s a new shop I came across called Mr. Mikes, I think these small chains are doing it right now. Gave up on pizza pizza years go!

  • KenK

    Completely willing to pay more if it helps out Canadians, pizza is already expensive though, I stopped buying it from big chains and because of that and I only get it from a small mom and pops shop, 9.99 for a xl 3 toppings or 2$ a slice, i am a big guy and a slice usually fills me.