If you seek stable investments and consistent dividends, look no further than the list of Canadian Dividend Aristocrat stocks.
These companies earn a stable enough cash flow to pay increasing dividends each year. The downside is that you will likely not see as much stock price growth.
This article will discuss the 10 top Canadian dividend aristocrat stocks for September 2023.
What Are Dividend Aristocrats?
The term dividend aristocrat in Canada is slightly different than in the United States. While south of the border, a dividend aristocrat has to have raised its dividend for 25 consecutive years, in Canada, that threshold is only five years.
Here are the exact requirements to be a Canadian dividend aristocrat:
- Be listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
- Be a constituent of the S&P Global BMI.
- The company has increased dividends for at least five years. Within those five years, the company can maintain the same dividend for a maximum of two consecutive years.
- The float-adjusted market capitalization must be greater than $300 million.
Unfortunately, being a Canadian dividend aristocrat is not as noble as it is in the United States. A five-year range for dividend growth is not a large enough sample size to ensure future dividend growth.
That said, many of the companies on the list have grown their dividends for much longer than five years. The list is a great place to start your research on Canadian dividend stocks, but always look more in-depth into the company and determine if future dividend growth is a likely outcome.
Top Canadian Dividend Aristocrats
1. Royal Bank of Canada
- Ticker Symbol: RY.TO
- Market Capitalization: $168.97 billion
- 52-week trading range: $116.75 – $140.18
- Dividend Yield: 4.46%
- 1-Year Return: -3.24%
- P/E Ratio: 11.95
Royal Bank of Canada needs no introduction to Canadian investors. It is the largest consumer bank in Canada and the 9th largest investment bank in the world. With nearly 1,200 branches and over 15 million Canadian customers, RBC is the premier financial institution in our country.
As for the dividend, RBC has raised its distribution to shareholders for 13 consecutive years. More importantly, it has not decreased its dividend payout for 32 years, proving that it is more than worthy of being one of Canada’s top dividend aristocrat stocks to own.
2. Toronto-Dominion Bank
- Ticker Symbol: TD.TO
- Market Capitalization: $146.87 billion
- 52-week trading range: $76.32 – $94.05
- Dividend Yield: 4.78%
- 1-Year Return: -6.69%
- P/E Ratio: 10.40
Right on the heels of RBC is the Toronto-Dominion Bank. It is Canada’s second-largest consumer bank and has an ever-expanding footprint in the United States as well. TD has over 1,060 branches in Canada and over 14 million customers from coast to coast.
TD stock pays out a generous dividend yield of 4.78% and has a 5-year dividend CAGR of 9.0%, including sustained dividend growth during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also has a strong 40-50% dividend payout ratio. Combined with a 5-year revenue CAGR of 7.0%, TD’s dividends look safe for years to come.
3. Canadian Natural Resources
- Ticker Symbol: CNQ.TO
- Market Capitalization: $90.31 billion
- 52-week trading range: $61.23 – $84.25
- Dividend Yield: 4.35%
- 1-Year Return: +9.83%
- P/E Ratio: 12.20
Canadian Natural Resources is one of Canada’s largest oil and gas companies that operates primarily in Western Canada and the prairies. It also owns energy assets in the UK, Africa, and across North America, giving it one of the most diversified energy portfolios in the world.
CNQ stock is also one of Canada’s top dividend aristocrat stocks. It has raised its quarterly dividend for 23 consecutive years with a staggering dividend CAGR of 21% over that period.
4. Fortis Inc
- Ticker Symbol: FTS.TO
- Market Capitalization: $25.99 billion
- 52-week trading range: $48.45 – $62.00
- Dividend Yield: 4.23%
- 1-Year Return: 4.23%
- P/E Ratio: 18.07
Fortis is a utility company based out of St. John’s, Newfoundland, that operates across Canada, the US, the Caribbean, and Central America. It pales in comparison to other companies in the list in terms of market capitalization, but Fortis is one of the more popular dividend stocks among Canadian dividend investors.
Why is it so popular? Fortis has an impressive 49 consecutive-year streak of raising its quarterly dividend payout to shareholders. As of August 2023, it is projecting 4-6% annual growth of its dividend through 2027.
5. BCE Inc
- Ticker Symbol: BCE.TO
- Market Capitalization: $51.38 billion
- 52-week trading range: $54.62 – $65.66
- Dividend Yield: 6.87%
- 1-Year Return: -12.84%
- P/E Ratio: 22.37
BCE Inc., better known as Bell Canada, is one of the largest telecommunications companies in Canada, along with Rogers and Telus. All three of these make for good dividend investments in Canada, and Telus is also on the list of dividend aristocrats. BCE has more than 10 million mobile customers in Canada, about 1 in every 4 Canadians.
For the past 14 years, Bell has raised its quarterly dividend each year. Over that period, the dividend has grown at a CAGR of about 5.21%. Bell reported more than $1 billion in free cash flow in the most recent quarter, which is an excellent sign that the company will continue raising its dividend.
6. Enbridge Inc
- Ticker Symbol: ENB.TO
- Market Capitalization: $94.72 billion
- 52-week trading range: $46.14 – $57.59
- Dividend Yield: 7.58%
- 1-Year Return: -18.04%
- P/E Ratio: 25.05
Enbridge is another popular dividend stock among Canadian investors due to its high yield and consistent dividend growth. It is Canada’s largest oil pipeline company by market capitalization, and its Enbridge Canadian Mainline transports about 58% of all Canadian crude oil that is exported to other nations. Enbridge also operates over 38,000 kilometres of natural gas pipelines that span from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
The company’s strong, utility-like cash flows allow it to pay out some of the best dividends in Canada. Enbridge has raised its dividend for 28 consecutive years and has provided an annual total shareholder return (TSR) of about 12% since 2002.
7. Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc
- Ticker Symbol: ATD.TO
- Market Capitalization: $69.62 billion
- 52-week trading range: $54.12 – $71.88
- Dividend Yield: 0.79%
- 1-Year Return: +25.42%
- P/E Ratio: 17.22
Alimentation Couche-Tard is a dividend aristocrat who rarely receives as many flowers as other dividend stocks in Canada. A quick look at the company’s name likely won’t provide much insight into what it does. ATD is a multinational convenience store operator with more than 14,400 stores in 24 countries across North America, Europe, and Asia. Some chains under its umbrella include Couche-Tard, Circle K, Mac’s Convenience, and On The Run.
The dividend for ATD is lower than other stocks on this list, but it has outperformed in terms of dividend growth. Since 2013, ATD’s dividend has grown at a CAGR of 26.6%, a pattern that shareholders should continue to see moving forward. If you aren’t impressed with the dividend distribution, ATD’s 1-year return of +25.42% has well outperformed every other stock on this list.
8. National Bank of Canada
- Ticker Symbol: NA.TO
- Market Capitalization: $33.17 billion
- 52-week trading range: $82.16 – $104.83
- Dividend Yield: 4.16%
- 1-Year Return: +9.93%
- P/E Ratio: 10.57
The National Bank of Canada is often overlooked by investors as it is not one of Canada’s Big 5 banks. It is the sixth-largest commercial bank in Canada and operates primarily in the Province of Quebec. National Bank has over 2.5 million customers across Canada, with branches in most Provinces and Territories.
Earlier this year, the National Bank raised its dividend yet again, making it more than a decade of consistent annual dividend growth. Over the past ten years, the dividend has grown at a CAGR of about 9.4%. With a payout ratio of 40%, National Bank is well-equipped to continue raising its dividend for the foreseeable future.
9. Canadian National Railway Company
- Ticker Symbol: CNR.TO
- Market Capitalization: $100.29 billion
- 52-week trading range: $144.71 – $175.39
- Dividend Yield: 2.07%
- 1-Year Return: -4.25%
- P/E Ratio: 19.60
Canadian National Railway is Canada’s largest railway company by revenue and market capitalization. It operates across the country from British Columbia to Nova Scotia and owns routes in the United States as well. Another interesting fact: the largest shareholder of CNR is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which owns about 15% of the company shares.
CNR is one of the premier dividend stocks in Canada. It has raised its dividend each year since its IPO in 1995 and has a dividend payout ratio below 40%. With $4.3 billion in free cash flow reported in 2022, CNR is almost guaranteed to keep raising its dividend for years to come.
10. Canadian Apartment Properties REIT
- Ticker Symbol: CAR-UN.TO
- Market Capitalization: $8.097 billion
- 52-week trading range: $39.08 – $52.98
- Dividend Yield: 3.03%
- 1-Year Return: +5.71%
- P/E Ratio: 55.06
The last stock on the list is a Real Estate Investment Trust or REIT. These are companies that own physical real estate and pay out a large chunk of their net income from rent to shareholders as distributions. In exchange, they do not pay any corporate income tax. Canadian Apartment REITs owns over 65,000 units in Canada and Europe, with an overall occupancy of more than 95%.
REITs are fantastic dividend stocks, and CAR is no exception. This REIT stock pays monthly dividends and has raised its distribution each year since 2011. Even at a time when Canadian residential real estate is on shaky ground, CAPREIT continues to pay out and grow its monthly dividends.
Pros of Investing in Dividend Aristocrats
Dividend aristocrat stocks come with nice dividend growth over time. But they also provide stability as they are usually mature companies that have a lot of free cash flow each year.
Adding to dividend aristocrat stocks can enable a steady growth to your portfolio when used with a DRIP system.
During times of market volatility, dividend aristocrat stocks tend to outperform growth stocks.
Cons of Investing in Dividend Aristocrats
If you are young, you should focus more on long-term capital appreciation. Dividend aristocrat stocks will not see major increases in stock price over time.
Dividends can get cut anytime, as we learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. Do not rely only on dividends for portfolio growth.
Five years is not a long enough period to forecast future dividend growth for Canadian stocks.
How To Buy Canadian Dividend Aristocrat Stocks in 2023
The best way to buy Canadian dividend aristocrat stocks is with little to no trading fees. Discount brokerages like Questrade or Wealthsimple offer low-cost commissions so you can get the most out of every trade.
Canadian Dividend Aristocrat Stocks
Note: All of these figures are accurate as of August 27, 2023.
|Ticker Symbol||Stock Name||Dividend Yield||Market Capitalization|
|RY.TO||Royal Bank of Canada||4.46%||$168.97 billion|
|TD.TO||Toronto-Dominion Bank||4.78%||$146.87 billion|
|CNR.TO||Canadian National Railway||2.07%||$100.29 billion|
|ENB.TO||Enbridge Inc||7.58%||$94.72 billion|
|CNQ.TO||Canadian Natural Resources||4.35%||$90.31 billion|
|BMO.TO||Bank of Montreal||5.24%||$79.97 billion|
|TRI.TO||Thompson Reuters Corp||1.54%||$78.50 billion|
|BNS.TO||Bank of Nova Scotia||6.83%||$74.03 billion|
|BN.TO||Brookfield Corp||0.85%||$72.41 billion|
|ATD.TO||Alimentation Couche-Tard||0.79%||$69.64 billion|
|BCE.TO||BCE Inc||6.87%||$51.38 billion|
|TRP.TO||TC Pipelines||7.74%||$49.46 billion|
|WCN.TO||Waste Connections||0.73%||$48.32 billion|
|MFC.TO||Manulife Financial Corp||6.00%||$44.49 billion|
|IMO.TO||Imperial Oil||2.67%||$43.66 billion|
|QSR.TO||Restaurant Brands International||3.19%||$41.18 billion|
|ABX.TO||Barrick Gold Corp||2.48%||$37.99 billion|
|SLF.TO||Sunlife Financial||4.64%||$37.92 billion|
|L.TO||Loblaws Companies||1.53%||$36.94 billion|
|FNV.TO||Franco-Nevada Corp||0.97%||$36.17 billion|
|GWO.TO||Great-West Lifeco||5.44%||$35.59 billion|
|IFC.TO||Intact Financial Corp||2.26%||$34.12 billion|
|T.TO||Telus Corp||6.23%||$33.31 billion|
|NA.TO||National Bank of Canada||4.16%||$33.17 billion|
|AEM.TO||Agnico Eagle Mines||3.34%||$31.85 billion|
|WPM.TO||Wheaton Precious Metals Group||1.39%||$26.49 billion|
|FTS.TO||Fortis Inc||4.23%||$25.99 billion|
|DOL.TO||Dollarama Inc||0.33%||$24.26 billion|
|BEP-UN.TO||Brookfield Renewable Partners||5.04%||$23.93 billion|
|TOU.TO||Tourmaline Oil Corp||1.54%||$22.96 billion|
|PPL.TO||Pembina Pipeline Corp||6.41%||$22.86 billion|
|MG.TO||Magna International||3.24%||$22.03 billion|
|POW.TO||Power Corporation||5.82%||$21.86 billion|
|H.TO||Hydro One||3.29%||$21.59 billion|
|WN.TO||George Weston||1.91%||$20.51 billion|
|BIP-UN.TO||Brookfield Infrastructure Partners||4.69%||$19.84 billion|
|MRU.TO||Metro Inc||1.73%||$16.06 billion|
|TFII.TO||TFI International Inc||1.06%||$15.07 billion|
|RBA.TO||RB Global Inc||1.79%||$14.92 billion|
|OTEX.TO||Open Text Corp||2.52%||$14.37 billion|
|EMA.TO||Emera Inc||5.44%||$13.86 billion|
|BAM.TO||Brookfield Asset Management||3.81%||$13.85 billion|
|SAP.TO||Saputo Inc||2.58%||$12.13 billion|
|CCL.B.TO||CCL Industries Class B||1.76%||$10.70 billion|
|STN.TO||Stantec Inc||0.86%||$10.01 billion|
|CTC.A.TO||Canadian Tire Class A||4.48%||$9.06 billion|
|TIH.TO||Toromont Industries Ltd||1.56%||$9.04 billion|
|EMP.A.TO||Empire Company Ltd||2.09%||$8.76 billion|
|CU.TO||Canadian Utilities Class A||5.54%||$8.73 billion|
|WFG.TO||West Fraser Timber Co Ltd||1.55%||$8.56 billion|
|IAG.TO||IA Financial Corporation||3.67%||$8.55 billion|
|X.TO||TMX Group Ltd||2.45%||$8.19 billion|
|CAR-UN.TO||Canadian Apartment Properties REIT||3.03%||$8.16 billion|
|PAAS.TO||Pan American Silver Corp||2.47%||$8.01 billion|
|FSV.TO||FirstService Corp||0.59%||$7.21 billion|
|QBR.B.TO||Quebecor Inc||3.81%||$7.21 billion|
|PKI.TO||Parkland Corp||3.71%||$6.44 billion|
|FTT.TO||Finning International||2.42%||$6.12 billion|
|BYD.TO||Boyd Group Services Inc||0.24%||$5.16 billion|
|CPX.TO||Capital Power Corp||5.95%||$4.83 billion|
|GRT-UN.TO||Granite REIT||4.39%||$4.72 billion|
|PBH.TO||Premium Brand Holdings Corp||2.95%||$4.66 billion|
|ACO.X.TO||ATCO LTD Class I||5.03%||$4.28 billion|
|SJ.TO||Stella Jones Inc||1.42%||$3.75 billion|
|CRT-UN.TO||CT REIT||5.99%||$3.46 billion|
|MFI.TO||Maple Leaf Foods Inc||2.90%||$3.45 billion|
|EQB.TO||EQB Inc||1.98%||$2.90 billion|
|CCA.TO||Cogeco Communications||4.85%||$2.85 billion|
|AP-UN.TO||Allied Properties REIT||8.77%||$2.72 billion|
|CSH-UN.TO||Chartwell Retirement Residences REIT||5.89%||$2.51 billion|
|CWB.TO||Canadian Western Bank||5.11%||$2.49 billion|
|FN.TO||First National Financial Corp||6.29%||$2.29 billion|
|EIF.TO||Exchange Income Corp||5.24%||$2.23 billion|
|KMP-UN.TO||Killam Apartment REIT||3.91%||$2.13 billion|
|GSY.TO||Goeasy Ltd||3.04%||$2.09 billion|
|IIP-UN.TO||InterRent REIT||2.95%||$1.82 billion|
|CJT.TO||Cargojet Inc||1.17%||$1.69 billion|
|ENGH.TO||Enghouse Systems Ltd||2.97%||$1.64 billion|
|NWC.TO||North West Company Inc||4.90%||$1.48 billion|
|BDGI.TO||Badger Infrastructure Solutions Ltd||2.00%||$1.19 billion|
|TCL.A.TO||Transcontinental Inc Class A||6.86%||$1.14 billion|
|JWEL.TO||Jamieson Wellness Inc||2.92%||$1.09 billion|
|GCG.A.TO||Guardian Capital Group Ltd||3.30%||$1.04 billion|
|SIS.TO||Savaria Corp||3.28%||$1.02 billion|
|ALS.TO||Altius Minerals Corporation||1.58%||$961.82 million|
|LGT.B.TO||Logistec Corp Class B||0.77%||$865.12 million|
|CF.TO||Canaccord Genuity Group Inc||3.97%||$853.90 million|
|ADEN.TO||Adentra Inc||1.56%||$745.45 million|
|ARE.TO||Aecon Group Inc||6.55%||$697.31 million|
|CGO.TO||Cogeco Inc||5.96%||$687.75 million|
|MI-UN.TO||Minto Apartment REIT||3.71%||$535.29 million|
|FSZ.TO||Fiera Capital Corp||14.29%||$515.88 million|
|TCS.TO||Tecsys Inc||1.16%||$380.43 million|
|XTC.TO||Exco Technologies Ltd||5.28%||$309.35 million|
Should You Invest in Canadian Dividend Aristocrats?
Dividend investing can be a polarizing subject among investors. Ultimately, it will come down to your risk tolerance, investment goals, and investment horizon.
For younger investors, investing in Canadian dividend aristocrats might not be the best strategy. While you will surely be able to grow your portfolio over time, you are potentially missing out on investing in massive growth stocks instead.
Older investors looking for stability and income in retirement can rely on dividend aristocrat stocks to defend their capital.
Canadian Dividend Aristocrats ETFs
Given that nearly 80 dividend aristocrat stocks are in Canada, you might think it would be easier just to buy an ETF. Luckily, Blackrock has an ETF that tracks the Canadian dividend aristocrat stock index.
The iShares S&P/TSX Canadian Dividend Aristocrats Index ETF (CDZ.TO) is the ETF that tracks that index the closest. Some of its top holdings include Great WestLife Co, Power Corporation of Canada, BCE Inc., and Enbridge Inc.
This ETF holds 90 Canadian dividend aristocrat stocks and pays out a monthly distribution yield of 4.04%. The MER for CDZ is 0.66%, which means for every $10,000 you have invested, you will pay $66.00 in annual fees.
For Canadian investors with a low-risk appetite, dividend aristocrat stocks can be great additions to your portfolio. When choosing Canadian dividend aristocrat stocks, I usually look at the track record for dividend growth, as well as the total shareholder returns.
On top of that, it helps to look at the company’s payout ratio, which shows how much of its profit it pays out in dividends each year. Do not chase a high dividend yield, as consistent dividend growth over time is far more valuable.
In Canada, it is difficult to top the oil pipeline stocks like Enbridge, Pembina, and TC Energy. Not only do they have high dividend yields, but they back that up with high cash flow and a long history of dividend growth.
Dividend Kings are companies that have raised their dividends for 50 or more consecutive years. In Canada, only Canadian Utilities (CU.TO) fall into this category. Next year, Fortis (FTS.TO) will join them as long as they raise their dividend in 2024.
Many Canadian REIT stocks pay high monthly dividends. Most notably, dividend aristocrat stocks like Canadian Apartments REIT (CAR-UN.TO), Allied Properties REIT (AP-UN.TO), and Granite REIT (GRT-UN.TO) all pay monthly dividends.
Canadian Utilities (CU.TO) is the longest-reigning dividend aristocrat stock in Canada. As of 2023, it has raised its dividend every year for 50 years, making it the current leader on the TSX.