10 Best Canadian Dividend Aristocrat Stocks in June 2024

If you are an income-focused investor looking at dividend-paying stocks, Canadian dividend aristocrats are a segment of the stock market that you may not have considered. 

Unlike bonds that typically pay fixed coupons to bondholders over time, company dividends will fluctuate over time. A company’s common shares are usually under no obligation to pay dividends to investors.

Since 1926, dividends have contributed 32% of the total return of the S&P 500 index.

We will cover the best Canadian dividend aristocrat stocks below and review some of their key features.

What is a Canadian Dividend Aristocrat?

While it’s nice for a stock to come with a long history of paying dividends to investors, the aristocrat title is reserved for stocks that constantly increase their dividends.  

For Canadian stocks, a dividend aristocrat must meet the following criteria:

  • The stock must be listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange
  • The stock must have increased its dividend for five consecutive years
  • The company must have a market capitalization of at least $300 million

The requirements for being crowned a dividend aristocrat in the US are much more stringent than here in Canada.

Remember that while actual dividends paid are fairly stable over short periods, dividend yields can fluctuate drastically (as these account for stock prices which can move heavily in the short term).

Best Canadian Dividend Aristocrat Stocks

  • Fortis Inc. (FTS.TO)
  • Enbridge (ENB.TO)
  • Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO)
  • Emera (EMA.TO)
  • Telus (T.TO)
  • National Bank of Canada (NA.TO)
  • First National Financial (FN.TO)
  • Granite REIT (GRT-UN.TO)
  • Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO)
  • Goeasy (GSY.TO)

1. Fortis

Fortis Stock logo
  • Ticker: FTS.TO
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 4.29%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 73.14%
  • Dividend Yield (12-Month Trailing): 4.31%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Mar 01, 2024
  • Market Cap: $25.62 Billion

Fortis is one of the largest utility companies in Canada by market cap and by number of customers.

It operates in ten different regional and international markets and offers electricity and natural gas to over 3.4 million customers, both residential and commercial.

This geographic diversity adds one more layer of operational safety to what’s already an incredibly safe business.

Utility companies tend to be financially quite safe because their revenue stream is utility bills, a necessary expense immune to weak markets and economies.

Fortis’ finances have grown steadily over the years. Between 2013 and 2022, the revenues grew by about 175%, net earnings by over 250%.

Fortis is on track to become the second dividend king in Canada and has grown its payouts for 49 consecutive years, with yearly dividend increases hovering between 4% and 6%.

The payouts have remained financially viable, with payout ratios remaining safely below 100% between 2013 and 2023. It has also offered modest growth over that period, making the overall returns quite attractive.

Fortis is one of the best Canadian dividend aristocrats, not just because of its stellar dividend history but also because of the stability of its business model, steady growth, healthy financials, and modest capital appreciation potential that compliments its dividends.   

You should understand that even though its financials are (almost) immune to market dynamics, the stock is not, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

A market crash that sinks the stock would allow you to buy it at a discounted price, lock in a much better yield, and experience a modest boost in the growth potential.

2. Enbridge

  • Ticker: ENB.TO
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 7.69%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 234.83%
  • Dividend Yield (12-Month Trailing): 7.56%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Mar 01, 2024
  • Market Cap: $98.56 Billion

Enbridge is the largest energy company in Canada by market capitalization and the largest pipeline company in North America, moving a substantial portion of the natural gas and oil produced or consumed in the region.

It’s also the largest gas utility business (by volume) and is growing its renewable energy portfolio, which might help it balance its ESG profile.

It’s also one of the oldest aristocrats, not just in the energy sector but on the TSX as a whole.

The company has been growing its payouts for 28 consecutive years through three major adverse events: The Great Recession, the oil glut between 2014 and 2016, and COVID in 2020.

Part of the reason the company was able to maintain its payouts in years when the industry was taking a serious beating was the business model.

As a pipeline company, about half of its cash flows are from take-or-pay energy transportation contracts, which ensures that Enbridge’s customers pay the agreed-upon price for pipeline services, regardless of the existing oil prices.

Another 47% of its cash flow (in 2023) came from three regulated sources – natural gas utility business and two pipeline business segments.

The natural gas utility is expected to become a significantly larger part of its business mix (22% instead of the current 12%) once it completes its US acquisition.

This paints the picture of a business that is adapting to the changing market.

Both natural gas utility and renewable energy are growth avenues that might offset any business losses Enbridge may incur if oil demand starts drying up, something that is still decades away.

Enbridge is a great dividend pick. It has a strong dividend history, offers a generous yield, and has adopted a conservative and sustainable dividend growth strategy.

Basically, it checks all the boxes as an aristocrat. But if you are also anticipating capital growth with these exceptional dividends, you may be disappointed. It’s not impossible per se, but the probability is relatively low.

3. Canadian National Railway

Canadian National Railway Stock
  • Ticker: CNR.TO
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 1.97%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 42.10%
  • Dividend Yield (12-Month Trailing): 1.83%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Mar 28, 2024
  • Market Cap: $109.26 Billion

Canadian National Railway is the largest of the two railway giants in Canada (by market cap) and controls about 20,000 miles of railroad.

This logistically important network connects three North American coasts, catering to the import/export transportation needs of hundreds (if not thousands) of local businesses.

It also boasts the shortest route mileage between Canada and Mexico.

The revenue mix is quite diverse, with about two-thirds coming from three sources: Intermodal (shipping containers), petroleum/chemicals, and grain and fertilizer.

None of these three sources is expected to become irrelevant in the coming decades, and the railway is expected to remain the most cost-effective transportation option for them.

The company has experienced decent financial growth over the last decade, with revenues climbing from $2.5 billion in 2013 to $4.5 billion in 2022 (80% increase).

Both business model and strong financials have supported the railway’s healthy dividends over the last two decades.

The payout ratio for dividends has remained incredibly stable over the years, well below 50% between 2013 and 2023.

The yield is quite modest, typically hovering between 1.5% and 2%, but the dividend growth is very attractive – 46% between 2019 and 2023.

If you are looking for safe dividends, powerful dividend growth, and decent capital appreciation potential and are willing to compromise on the yield, Canadian National Railway can be a great pick for you.

4. Emera

  • Ticker: EMA.TO
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 5.94%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 63.59%
  • Dividend Yield (12-Month Trailing): 5.85%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Feb 15, 2024
  • Market Cap: $12.72 Billion

Emera is an energy holding company with six regulated and a few unregulated companies in its portfolio, though the latter was responsible for only 4% of the revenue in 2022.

The regulated companies have (collectively) over 2.5 million customers, both electric and natural gas. The largest business segment for the company is Florida’s electric utility operations.

The company has been growing its payouts for 16 consecutive years and, between 2005 and 2022, has grown its payouts three-fold. It’s aiming to achieve about 4-5% dividend growth in the coming years (by 2025 at least).

These dividends are sustained by healthy financials that have been growing at a decent pace as well. Between 2014 and 2022, the operating revenues grew by about 158%.

The financial viability of the dividends hasn’t been in question for a long time. The dividend growth, while not exceptional, is quite decent for an aristocrat. Combine this with a healthy yield that typically remains somewhere between 4.5% to 5.5% (depending on the price/discount) and a decent growth potential – 73% between Sep 2013 and Sep 2023, and you have a highly desirable Canadian dividend aristocrat.

While its financials are healthy and have been growing at a solid pace, the heavy debt can be considered unhealthy. Also, the company is overly exposed to one region – Florida.

A major regulatory change in this US state and challenges associated with flooding, which this state is quite vulnerable to, can lead to certain operational challenges that may impact its finances and, by extension, your dividends.

5. Telus

Telus Stock
  • Ticker: T.TO
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 5.96%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 264.70%
  • Dividend Yield (12-Month Trailing): 6.13%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Jan 02, 2024
  • Market Cap: $34.23 Billion

Telus is one of the three largest telecom companies in Canada, and even though it’s second by market capitalization, it ranks third in the two most important categories – mobile subscribers and internet customers.

However, it offers the best combination of capital growth potential and dividends, and its total returns for the last ten years are ahead of both of its competitors.

It is emerging as a leader in telehealth and home security. Telus Telehealth is among the largest telehealth companies in the world. In the home security market, it stands out from the other two by a significant margin. It’s also developing a strong presence in the AI market.

Financials are another element of its fundamental strength. Between 2013 and 2022, the revenues experienced an annualized growth of about 6%.

The company has been growing its dividends for at least 13 years. The growth has been modest and sustainable, about 33% in the last five years (2019 to 2023).

You should balance Telus’s strengths like its diverse business mix and compelling growth and dividend combination, with weaknesses like its 5G penetration compared to Rogers.

However, if the company continues to leverage its strengths, it may remain the most profitable telecom dividend aristocrat out of the telecom sector.

6. National Bank of Canada

National Bank of Canada Stock
  • Ticker: NA.TO
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 4.54%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 42.43%
  • Dividend Yield (12-Month Trailing): 3.88%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Feb 01, 2024
  • Market Cap: $34.25 Billion

The big six banks in Canada all share two common characteristics – stability and healthy dividends.

National Bank of Canada, the smallest of the bunch, doesn’t top the charts in the dividend category, but it’s by far the most profitable aristocrat if you evaluate it based on its overall return potential (dividend plus capital appreciation).

The bank has an impressive presence, though it’s mostly concentrated in Canada. In 2022, about 52% of its revenues came from Quebec alone, and only about 16% came from outside of Canada. So, the geographic diversification of revenue isn’t one of the bank’s strengths.

Another area where its growth hasn’t really been exemplary is the number of clients, which has only grown from 2.4 million in 2015 to 2.7 million in 2022.

But the financial growth over this period has been quite amazing. Revenues grew by about 70% and net income by over 110%. Total assets under the bank’s management almost doubled.

This contributed to the best capital growth in the Canadian banking sector between Sep 2013 and Sep 2023 – 124%. If you add the dividends to the mix, the overall returns become 240% over this period.

The bank has been growing its payouts consistently since 2010 and if you are willing to look past the “pause” in the great recession years (2008-2009), the growth stretches back to 1995.

The payout ratio has been rock solid and grew past 50% (which is considered the safe level for banks) just once in 2016.

The only major risk the National Bank carries is its limited international exposure.

But considering its compelling growth with a mostly local presence, the risk doesn’t undermine its status as one of the best Canadian dividend aristocrat stocks.

7. First National Financial

  • Ticker: FN.TO
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 6.36%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 58.01%
  • Dividend Yield (12-Month Trailing): 6.04%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Feb 15, 2024
  • Market Cap: $2.35 Billion

First National Financial is one of the largest non-bank mortgage lenders in Canada, which is a difficult market to carve a place in, especially when you are lending to the same people the big banks are lending to.

The company has managed that and has achieved decent organic growth, with mortgages under management growing from $75 billion in 2013 to $131 billion in 2022 and revenue more than doubling over that period.

First National Financial has a diversified portfolio of mortgages, and about two-thirds are insured, which lends financial stability to the mortgage portfolio of this company.

Since 2016, the company has grown its payouts 16 times, and it has been increasing its payouts (each year) since 2011.

The payout ratio of the company has remained quite stable in the last ten years, with just one exception (2015).

Between 2016 and 2023, the company has raised its payouts by 41% (about 5% on an annualized basis). The yield is typically quite generous (around 6%).

You should understand that as a small, primarily mortgage-dependent company, First National Financial is quite exposed to the housing bubble.

Any drastic shift in the real estate or mortgage market may impact the dividends of this aristocrat.

8. Granite REIT

Granite REIT Stock
  • Ticker: GRT-UN.TO
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 4.49%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 127.11%
  • Dividend Yield (12-Month Trailing): 4.2%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Feb 15, 2024
  • Market Cap: $4.75 Billion

Granite REIT is one of the handful of aristocratic REITs trading in Canada. It’s an industrial REIT with the bulk of the portfolio consisting of logistics/light industrial properties well-positioned to thrive in the e-commerce economy.

The 143 property portfolio is spread out over five countries, with the US representing the largest segment by area and number of properties.

The company has experienced substantial growth over the last decade or so and has grown its portfolio over five times since 2012. Its Funds From Operations (FFO) per unit has almost doubled over that period.

The revenue and EBITDA have been growing quite consistently, making its dividends more financially sustainable.

The financial sustainability of its dividends is evident from both conventional metrics like the payout ratio and one more suited for REITs, i.e., Adjusted FFO Payout ratio, which has steadily gone down between 2018 and 2023, with just one spike, which still remained safely under 100%.

Granite has grown its payouts consistently since 2013 (at least), with an annualized growth of around 5.1%. It also offers decent capital appreciation potential, which allowed it to return about 230% to its investors between Sep 2013 and Sep 2023.

Granite REIT has proven its mettle when it comes to dividends and appears far more financially stable than most other REITs.

The tenant portfolio is quite strong as well. However, this stability doesn’t prevent the stock from falling with the rest of the sector when it goes bearish, which may impact its growth potential.

9. Sun Life Financial

SunLife Logo
  • Ticker: SLF.TO
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 4.50%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 46.89%
  • Dividend Yield (12-Month Trailing): 4.22%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Mar 28, 2024
  • Market Cap: $41.12 Billion

Sun Life Financial is a diversified financial company, with a significant segment of its revenues/business still tied to its original forte – life insurance.

About 40% of its business model is now wealth and asset management for a geographically diversified clientele.

The company has an enormous international footprint spanning 28 markets, and it caters to about 85 million individuals.

The company has a long history of growing its payouts, stretching back to 2002, but it took a seven-year gap (2008 to 2014), and its current dividend growth streak started in 2015.

However, it maintained its payouts during the Great Recession. The payout ratio has remained quite stable over the past ten years, endorsing the financial viability of its dividends.

This diversified business model is one of the factors that has distinguished it from other life insurance stocks in Canada. The stock has experienced steady growth, and between Sep 2013 and Sep 2023, it grew by about 99%, pushing the overall returns over that period to 190%.

Sun Life offers a good yield, and you can make it even better by buying when it’s discounted. It’s attractively valued and offers rock-solid dividends with decent stock and payout growth.

There is relatively little risk in investing in a stable giant like Sun Life, especially when it’s trading below its target price, as per multiple experts.

10. Goeasy

Goeasy Stock
  • Ticker: GSY.TO
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 2.77%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 31.98%
  • Dividend Yield (12-Month Trailing): 2.33%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Jan 12, 2024
  • Market Cap: $2.61 Billion

Goeasy is an alternative financial company that offers two major financial products to its customers: small personal loans and home loans for things like furniture and appliances.

These home loans are offered on a lease-to-own basis. With 400 locations country-wide, it has a larger footprint than many credit unions in the country and has catered to over 1.3 million customers.

Goeasy has established itself as a reputable lender in Canada and since it caters to people with bad/weak credit scores, it has access to a massive market pool, where it’s essentially the biggest “fish.”

As a dividend aristocrat, goeasy doesn’t have a very long history, and it has raised its payouts (consecutively) since about 2015. But it can be counted among the best Canadian dividend aristocrat stocks for three reasons.

The first is its dividend growth. Between 2015 and 2023, it raised its dividends by over 860%, though the last growth was a far more practical raise of about five cents.

The second reason is the financial stability of its dividends. Its payout ratio has remained even more conservative than a bank over the last ten years.

Lastly, it’s a powerful growth stock that grew by about 770% between Sep 2013 and Sep 2023.

Goeasy checks many of the boxes of a stable dividend aristocrat that you can hold for decades, but it does carry a risk.

It operates like a conventional bank (a lot of physical location – high overhead) with just two products, but it doesn’t have the financial or regulatory moat that banks have.

This makes it more vulnerable to fintech and other digital players, many of which have already entered the lending market.

Pros and Cons of Canadian Dividend Aristocrats

Dividend aristocrats come with their advantages and disadvantages, similar to all investments that you could consider for your accounts.

Regardless of a company’s dividend history, you should always make sure that the company is a good investment overall.

Pros
  • Increasing income stream (which can help with inflation and rising costs)
  • The underlying companies usually have stable and predictable cash flows
  • Aristocrats tend to be more defensive companies with good dividend yields
Cons
  • The company potentially prioritizes dividend increases instead of growing operations
  • Some great companies don’t pay dividends (let alone constantly grow them)
  • Growing dividends do not guarantee a superior total return

Top 50 Canadian Dividend Aristocrats

There is a total of 93 dividend aristocrats in Canada, but these are our top 50 by consecutive years of dividend increases.

Company NameTickerMarket CapDividend Yield
(12-month trailing)
Canadian Utilities LimitedCU.TO$8.20 Billion5.93%
Fortis Inc.FTS.TO$25.62 Billion4.31%
Toromont Industries Ltd.TIH.TO$9.66 Billion1.4%
Canadian Western BankCWB.TO$2.64 Billion4.58%
ATCO Ltd.ACO-X.TO$4.13 Billion5.11%
Thomson Reuters CorporationTRI.TO$93.61 Billion0.94%
Imperial Oil LimitedIMO.TO$42.60 Billion2.41%
Metro Inc.MRU.TO$15.54 Billion1.79%
Empire Company LimitedEMP-A.TO$8.29 Billion2.03%
Enbridge Inc.ENB.TO$98.56 Billion7.56%
Canadian National Railway CompanyCNR.TO$109.26 Billion1.83%
Saputo Inc.SAP.TO$11.80 Billion2.62%
Canadian Natural Resources LimitedCNQ.TO$87.64 Billion4.33%
Transcontinental Inc.TCL-A.TO$1.17 Billion6.66%
Finning International Inc.FTT.TO$5.19 Billion2.61%
CCL Industries Inc.CCL-B.TO$10.12 Billion1.81%
Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers IncorporatedRBA.TO$16.43 Billion1.18%
TELUS CorporationT.TO$34.23 Billion6.13%
Cogeco Communications Inc. CCA.TO$2.57 Billion5.18%
Cogeco Inc.CGO.TO$564.78 Million5.1%
Intact Financial CorporationIFC.TO$37.17 Billion2.05%
Stella-Jones Inc.SJ.TO$4.60 Billion1.11%
Exco Technologies LimitedXTC.TO$279.80 Million5.68%
Andrew Peller LimitedADW-A.TO$191.97 Million5.5%
Emera IncorporatedEMA.TO$12.72 Billion5.85%
Enghouse Systems LimitedENGH.TO$1.91 Billion2.49%
Boyd Group Services Inc.BYD.TO$6.45 Billion0.14%
Franco-Nevada CorporationFNV.TO$27.79 Billion0.91%
Tecsys Inc.TCS.TO$512.34 Million0.87%
BCE Inc.BCE.TO$45.91 Billion7.57%
National Bank of CanadaNA.TO$34.25 Billion3.88%
Magna International Inc.MG.TO$20.96 Billion2.48%
Logistec CorporationLGT-B.TO$00%
Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.ATD.TO$77.70 Billion0.55%
Waste Connections, Inc.WCN.TO$54.75 Billion0.49%
The Bank of Nova ScotiaBNS.TO$76.29 Billion6.55%
Canadian Imperial Bank of CommerceCM.TO$55.97 Billion5.61%
Granite Real Estate Investment Trust GRT-UN.TO$4.75 Billion4.2%
Royal Bank of CanadaRY.TO$180.79 Billion4.06%
The Toronto-Dominion BankTD.TO$140.75 Billion4.81%
Canadian Tire Corporation, LimitedCTC-A.TO$8.07 Billion4.84%
Guardian Capital Group LimitedGCG-A.TO$1.24 Billion2.82%
EQB Inc.EQB.TO$3.37 Billion1.45%
Hardwoods Distribution Inc.HDI.TO$00%
TFI International Inc.TFII.TO$16.43 Billion0.75%
Dollarama Inc.DOL.TO$28.16 Billion0.27%
Pembina Pipeline CorporationPPL.TO$24.74 Billion5.79%
First National Financial CorporationFN.TO$2.35 Billion6.04%
Allied Properties Real Estate Investment Trust AP-UN.TO$2.17 Billion10.14%

Should You Invest in Canadian Dividend Aristocrat Stocks?

Canadian dividend aristocrat stocks are ideal for investors that want growing dividends from their investments over time. If you have a large allocation to Canadian stocks or are not concerned with income, better investment options may exist.

The ideal investor that should consider dividend aristocrat stocks:

  • Is looking for a growing income stream
  • Would like a more defensive stock investment
  • Has room in tax-advantaged accounts (dividends are less favourably taxed than capital gains)

Before deciding to invest in dividend aristocrats or any equities, be sure to determine that stocks are appropriate for your risk tolerance.

Final Thoughts for Dividend Aristocrats

Canadian dividend aristocrat stocks allow you to invest in companies that pay a fairly reliable growing dividend stream to investors.

Companies that are able to consistently grow their dividends to investors have at least indicated some stability in their operating cash flows and profitability. 

Dividend aristocrats rarely pay their income on a monthly basis. Make sure to check out some of the best monthly dividend stocks if you are looking for income on a more frequent basis.

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Author Bio - Christopher Liew is a CFA Charterholder with 11 years of finance experience and the creator of Wealthawesome.com. Read about how he quit his 6-figure salary career to travel the world here.

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7 thoughts on “10 Best Canadian Dividend Aristocrat Stocks in June 2024”

  1. A good article but you must add in the credit rating of the aforementioned firms. For example, Enbridge and Telus are rated BBB, or barely investment grade due to excessive debt loads. Some firms fund dividend increases by debt, which is a risk for investors.

    Reply
  2. I just caught on to this article of yours, and wanted to thank you for it.
    I found it very informative and easy to understand. I am a retired senior and am planning on starting a passive income portfolio and will definitely put some if not all your suggestions in it.
    Thanks again, and hope you are keeping safe and enjoying your stay in Thailand.

    Gloria

    Reply

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