25 Best Canadian Dividend Stocks (Feb 2023): Earn Passive Income

Looking for the best Canadian dividend stocks to buy and hold for your portfolio in 2023?

Dividend stocks are some of the best investment options in Canada. It’s a popular way to earn passive income, and many people build their entire portfolios around dividend stocks.

Dividend stocks generally outperform the overall market during a recession, so it’s a popular choice during uncertain times.

Below are my picks for the best Canadian dividend stocks for 2023 investors.

Choosing the Right Dividend Stock

What should you look for in a dividend stock in Canada? The yield is one obvious answer, but there are other factors as well.

It’s important that you understand your investment goals and risk tolerance levels before you start working on building your dividend portfolio.

You should look for a broad array of metrics for the dividend stock you are thinking about buying, but here are a few main things to evaluate:

  • Sustainability of the dividends: A high yield does not always mean it will be paid out forever. An important metric to look at is the dividend payout ratio, plus the consistency of the company’s revenues.
  • Overall return potential of the stock: Do you believe in the company’s long-term strategy and outlook? Is it in a growing or contracting industry?
  • How risky is the stock: If it’s a utility stock, it will likely be less risky than something like a REIT.

I go into how to select the right dividend stock in more detail after the list.

Best Canadian dividend stocks:

Here are my picks for the best dividend stocks in Canada:

1. Fortis stock

Fortis Stock logo
  • Ticker: FTS.TO
  • Sector: Utilities
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 4.17%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 79.26%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Mar 01, 2023
  • Market Cap: $26.45 Billion
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 18.6
  • Average Analyst Rating: 2.8 - Hold

Fortis can easily be considered one of the most well-known dividend aristocrats in Canada. It has been growing its payouts for 47 consecutive years, making it the second oldest aristocrat in the country.

Fortis usually offers a decent mix of both capital growth potential and dividends, which makes it significantly more attractive than its counterpart Canadian Utilities.

  • Fortis has a sustainable utility business with 3.4 million utility consumers (2.1 electrical and the rest natural gas) in ten countries.
  • Although the dividend yield is not the highest, Fortis’ stellar history make it one of the most secure dividend aristocrats on this list.
  • While the dividend payout ratio might seem high, the stable financials and sector reduce this risk.

2. BMO stock

  • Ticker: BMO.TO
  • Dividend Yield: 4.66%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 27.21%
  • Dividend Date: Feb 28, 2023
  • Market Cap: $94.86 Billion
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 9.5
  • Average Analyst Rating: 2.3 - Buy

With an impressive dividend streak of over 190 years, BMO is one of Canada’s most reliable dividend stocks. It’s a household name, and there’s a BMO on every corner, so most Canadians should be familiar with this company.

Regarding financial performance, BMO has delivered solid results in recent years, with consistent revenue growth and a strong balance sheet.

Overall, BMO is a well-established financial institution with a strong track record of performance. The stock will be attractive to income-seeking investors due to its relatively high dividend yield and to those looking for stability in the financial sector.

It has an excellent dividend that is strongly sustainable, given its low payout ratio.

3. Enbridge stock

Enbridge Stock
  • Ticker: ENB.TO
  • Sector: Energy
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 6.71%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 126.48%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Mar 01, 2023
  • Market Cap: $110.11 Billion
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 17.83
  • Average Analyst Rating: 2.4 - Buy

Enbridge is the largest energy company in Canada. It’s primarily an energy “moving” company and is responsible for moving one-fourth of the crude produced in the entire North American region as well as one-fifth of the natural gas used in the US.

It also has a presence in the natural gas utility sphere (end-user distribution) and is diversifying into renewables.

  • Enbridge has grown its payouts for 25 consecutive years, even though payout ratios are quite high
  • It grew its payouts by 13.7% between 2017 and 2021.
  • Despite the high payout ratio, the dividends have been quite stable, thanks to its position as a market leader and because, as a pipeline company, its income is not as vulnerable to crude prices as some other energy companies.

4. BNS stock

Image result for scotiabank logo
  • Ticker: BNS.TO
  • Sector: Utilities
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 6.21%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 50.62%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Jan 27, 2023
  • Market Cap: $87.40 Billion
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 8.53
  • Average Analyst Rating: 2.7 - Hold

Scotiabank, also known as the Bank of Nova Scotia, is a Canadian multinational bank that provides a range of financial services, including retail, commercial, and corporate banking, as well as wealth management and insurance.

The bank operates in over 50 countries, with a significant presence in North America, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

With its aggressive expansion into international markets, some investors were skeptical, but the strategy seems to have been paying off.

Regarding stock performance, Scotiabank’s stock has historically been considered a relatively stable investment with moderate growth potential.

5. BCE stock

Image result for bell mobility logo
  • Ticker: BCE.TO
  • Sector: Telecom
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 6.19%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 117.64%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Jan 16, 2023
  • Market Cap: $56.33 Billion
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 16.88
  • Average Analyst Rating: 2.6 - Hold

BCE is part of the Canadian telecom oligopoly, where three giants control about 80% of the market, and BCE is the largest of the three. BCE is also making great strides towards 5G, an avenue that is expected to help the company grow its revenue stream, making its payouts even more sustainable.

It has three major business segments: Wireline (broadband and voice), wireless, and media.

  • BCE has a strong presence, reasonable penetration, and decent scope to grow its wireless business segment via 5G.
  • It’s a financially resilient company, and the dividends don’t fluctuate much, even during harsh market conditions.
  • It has grown its dividends for 12 consecutive years, even through years, with payout ratios higher than 100%.

6. Telus stock

Image result for telus logo
  • Ticker: T.TO
  • Sector: Telecom
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 5.37%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 91.23%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Jan 03, 2023
  • Market Cap: $40.94 Billion
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 20.44
  • Average Analyst Rating: 2.1 - Buy

Telus is another telecom giant benefitting from the Oligopoly in the sector. It boasts 16 million subscriber connections across multiple dimensions, though most (about 10.7 million) are wireless subscribers.

The company has room to grow in the 5G front and grow its internet subscribers because the TV and residential voice (wired) business segments are slowly going under.

  • Telus offers slightly stronger (and more consistent) capital growth potential but with a lower yield.
  • The company shows amazing financial resilience during tough markets, and the payout ratio rarely enters the danger zone.
  • It has grown its payouts by about 36% since 2017 and has been growing its payouts for 17 consecutive years.

7. Suncor stock

Image result for suncor logo
  • Ticker: SU.TO
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 4.84%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 31.96%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Dec 23, 2022
  • Market Cap: $59.53 Billion
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 7.19
  • Average Analyst Rating: 2.4 - Buy

Suncor Energy is an energy company focusing on crude oil and natural gas production. Some factors that could impact the company’s stock performance include oil and gas prices, production levels, exploration success, and overall market conditions.

Suncor took a bit of a hit during the pandemic on its refining business. But now that air travel is picking up again and the demand for oil is increasing, Suncor has a bright future for a strong stock price and dividend increases.

8. Manulife Stock

Manulife Stock
  • Ticker: MFC.TO
  • Sector: Insurance
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 5.47%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 35.20%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Dec 19, 2022
  • Market Cap: $48.92 Billion
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 8

While not the giant, Manulife is a giant in the Canadian insurance industry. The company has been around for about 130 years and has expanded its business reach not just to the US but overseas as well, and it has an extensive network in Asia.

Its products differ from country to country and cater to both individuals and businesses, making the insurance business quite comprehensive.

  • Manulife’s capital appreciation potential is minimal, so try to buy it for maximum yield (when the stock is dipping).
  • Its payout ratios have been extremely stable and haven’t even crossed 71% in the last ten years.

9. Transcontinental stock

Image result for transcontinental logo
  • Ticker: TCL-A.TO
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 5.89%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 55.21%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Jan 23, 2023
  • Market Cap: $1.31 Billion
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 6.54
  • Average Analyst Rating: 2.5 - Buy

After a large acquisition that shows that Transcontinental wants to become a top player in the packaging business and with a very healthy dividend yield, Transcontinental stock is one of my best Canadian dividend stock picks.

10. Royal Bank of Canada stock

rbc bank logo
  • Ticker: RY.TO
  • Sector: Banking
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 4.15%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 44.85%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Feb 24, 2023
  • Market Cap: $191.04 Billion
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 10.89

The Royal Bank of Canada reigned for many years as the “king” of the TSX, i.e., the largest security on the TSX, but its true stability comes from the Canadian banking sector.

Thanks to the strict financial regulations, the Canadian banking sector is counted among one of the most stable banking sectors in the world.

  • It offers a powerful combination of growth potential and yield, especially if you buy it during a bearish phase.
  • The bank has adequate international exposure (and many foreign growth opportunities).
  • It has grown its payouts for a decade and by 30% in the last five years.

11. The North West Company stock

Image result for the north west company logo
  • Ticker: NWC.TO
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 4.27%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 58.89%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Jan 16, 2023
  • Market Cap: $1.72 Billion
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 13.5
  • Average Analyst Rating: 2.8 - Hold

With an attractive dividend yield, this discount store operator can provide income while allowing room for stock appreciation as price margins are expected to increase.

12. Pembina stock

Image result for pembina logo
  • Ticker: PPL.TO
  • Sector: Energy 
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 5.68%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 52.55%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Dec 30, 2022
  • Market Cap: $25.63 Billion
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 14.7
  • Average Analyst Rating: 2.3 - Buy

Pembina pipeline is coveted for both its dividends and its growth potential. Its growth, even when slow, tends to be quite consistent. As a pipeline company, its revenues depend upon long-term contracts with other energy companies, allowing it to survive energy sector fluctuations a bit better.

  • It has grown its payouts for nine consecutive years, though the growth is not quite substantial.
  • Pembina pays monthly dividends and has sustained and grown its dividends despite the payout ratios being through the roof.
  • The bulk of its income comes from its pipeline business. Asset-wise, it makes about two-thirds of its money from natural gas and NGL.

13. Granite REIT stock

Image result for granite reit logo
  • Ticker: GRT-UN.TO
  • Sector: Real Estate
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 4.63%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 34.43%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Feb 15, 2023
  • Market Cap: $5.49 Billion
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 18.42
  • Average Analyst Rating: 1.6 - Buy

Granite REIT has a well-diversified commercial portfolio, a decent bit of which is overseas, and a lot of it is in the US.

It focuses on industrial properties, especially e-commerce-related logistics and warehouse properties which have been the primary driver of the company’s growth. Its financials have kept pace with the stock’s growth.

  • The payout ratio is quite low for a REIT, making its payouts much more sustainable and secure compared to the broader sector.
  • The yield is decent, but the capital growth potential is a more compelling reason for investing in this stock.
  • It’s the oldest aristocrat in the real estate sector that has grown its payouts for ten consecutive years.

14. Toronto Dominion Bank Stock

Toronto Dominion Bank Stock
  • Ticker: TD.TO
  • Sector: Banking
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 4.38%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 37.59%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Jan 31, 2023
  • Market Cap: $168.27 Billion
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 9.62
  • Average Analyst Rating: 2.4 - Buy

Toronto Dominion is the second largest bank in Canada and more US-facing than the Royal Bank. It’s also considered the best digital bank in Canada, which is likely the future of banking. And if it keeps growing its digital front just as aggressively, it might be in a position to beat the Royal Bank for the top spot.

  • It’s financially stable and offers a decent bit of capital growth on top of an already attractive yield.
  • The payout ratio has only crossed the 50% threshold once in the last decade.
  • The bank has grown its dividend payouts for ten consecutive years

15. TC Energy Stock

TC Energy Stock
  • Ticker: TRP.TO
  • Sector: Energy
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 6.67%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 109.85%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Jan 31, 2023
  • Market Cap: $56.05 Billion
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 13.16
  • Average Analyst Rating: 2.8 - Hold

TC Energy is another pipeline company with more of a focus on natural gas than crude oil, making it more environmentally friendly. It operates over 93,000 km of natural gas pipelines in North America and 4,900 km of oil pipelines.

It also has seven power generation facilities to its name (in four countries), with enough capacity to supply four million homes.

  • TC Energy has grown its payouts for two consecutive decades.
  • It’s a powerful energy player, with the safe pipeline business and additional safety of natural gas, which has a better place in a sustainable future compared to crude oil.
  • It has grown its dividends quite generously: 39% in the last five years.

16. Great-West Lifeco Stock

Great-West Lifeco Stock
  • Ticker: GWO.TO
  • Sector: Insurance
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 6.26%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 61.79%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Dec 30, 2022
  • Market Cap: $32.98 Billion
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 9.7
  • Average Analyst Rating: 3.1 - Hold

Great-West Lifeco is a holding company with two major business groups: Canadian life assurance company (with six subsidiaries) and Great-West US, with several subsidiaries. The company has over two trillion worth of assets under management and has initiated over 205 thousand client-adviser relationships.

  • Great-West Lifeco offers a generous yield with brutally stable payout ratios.
  • It has a stellar dividend history (six consecutive years of growth), and its dividend growth is modest (19% since 2017).
  • The business is diversified geographically and in terms of service offerings.

17. Power Corporation Of Canada Stock

Power Corporation Of Canada Stock
  • Ticker: POW.TO
  • Sector: Insurance 
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 6.22%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 66.22%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Feb 01, 2023
  • Market Cap: $24.10 Billion
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 9.3
  • Average Analyst Rating: 3.0 - Hold

The Power Corporation Of Canada owns about two-thirds of Great-West Lifeco, about 61% of IGM financials, and has a stake in three other major businesses, one from China.

Its primary focus is on financial service and wealth management businesses (including insurance), and can be considered a stable company with stakes and interests in a few other stable companies.

  • The combination yield and growth potential, especially if you consider the stable trajectory of its growth, is quite solid.
  • The payout ratios haven’t grown over 84% in the last five years.
  • It grew its payouts by 33% in the last five years, far outpacing inflation.

18. Emera Stock

Emera Stock
  • Ticker: EMA.TO
  • Sector: Utilities
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 5.33%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 88.63%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Feb 15, 2023
  • Market Cap: $14.52 Billion
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 16.8
  • Average Analyst Rating: 2.6 - Hold

As a utility business, Emera offers stability similar to Fortis and Canadian utilities. The revenue stream of the company is tied to its 2.5 million utility customers in six countries, making the business reasonably diversified.

Emera also has $31 billion in assets, making it a sizeable player in the utility industry. It offers both electricity and natural gas to its consumers and has seven regulated companies and two unregulated investments under its banner.

  • It’s an old aristocrat with 14 years of consecutive dividend increases and stable payouts.
  • Both its dividend growth and capital growth potentials are modest.

19. Algonquin Power And Utilities Stock

Algonquin Power And Utilities Stock
  • Ticker: AQN.TO
  • Sector: Utilities
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 11.15%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Jan 13, 2023
  • Market Cap: $6.76 Billion
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 12.36
  • Average Analyst Rating: 3.2 - Hold

Algonquin is a utility company with a lot of exposure to renewables and a decent international presence. It caters to over a million utility customers in the US and Canada. It doesn’t just deliver utilities.

The renewable energy group already has an installed capacity of 2 GWs, and 2GW more is expected to come online in the future. The collective assets (power generation and distribution) are worth about $10.6 billion.

  • Thanks to the nature of its business, its income is quite stable, and payouts are highly sustainable.
  • The demand for Algonquin’s clean power is expected to grow in the future.
  • It’s a strong and generous dividend grower and has grown its payouts by 46% in the last five years.

20. Canadian Utilities Stock

Canadian Utilities Stock
  • Ticker: CU.TO
  • Sector: Utilities
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 4.85%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 80.93%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Mar 01, 2023
  • Market Cap: $9.68 Billion
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 15.81
  • Average Analyst Rating: 3.2 - Hold

Canadian Utilities is the oldest dividend aristocrat on this list after growing its payouts for 49 consecutive years (one year away from becoming a dividend king). It comes under the umbrella of ATCO Group.

It caters to both electric and natural gas consumers, primarily in Alberta. It has about 1.1 million natural gas consumers and over a quarter of a million electricity consumers in Alberta (domestic). 

  • It offers a lot of stability as a utility business with strong domestic roots.
  • The company is also expanding its hydrogen business, and it may emerge as a strong hydrogen stock in the coming years.
  • Financially stable company that had sustained its dividends through years when the payout ratio was above 100%.
  • It grew its payouts by 23% in the last five years.

21. SmartCentres REIT Stock

 SmartCentres REIT Stock
  • Ticker: SRU-UN.TO
  • Sector: Real Estate
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 6.91%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 32.66%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Feb 15, 2023
  • Market Cap: $4.77 Billion
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 13.75
  • Average Analyst Rating: 2.9 - Hold

Despite being some of the most generous dividend stocks, REITs are underrepresented in the aristocratic dividends category. But among the few there are, SmartCentres stand out for a few reasons.

It has an impressive portfolio, most of which is anchored by Walmart, and the remaining tenant base is just as impressive. The REIT is also expanding into the smart living business.

  • A generous yield with decent history, though its dividend growth is mostly symbolic (8.8% in the last five years).
  • It has sustained its payouts through some very tough periods.
  • The payout ratio is usually quite stable for a REIT.

22. NorthWest Healthcare Properties REIT Stock

NorthWest Healthcare Properties REIT Stock
  • Ticker: NWH-UN.TO
  • Sector: Real Estate
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 8.42%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 69.01%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Feb 15, 2023
  • Market Cap: $2.41 Billion
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 11.63
  • Average Analyst Rating: 2.4 - Buy

Another non-aristocrat on this list is here because of the unique asset class (within the real estate) that it represents: Healthcare properties. These are usually stable properties (from a rental perspective) and have long-term leases.

  • The REIT has a healthy, geographically diversified portfolio spread out over five countries.
  • It offers a powerful combination of high-yield and stable/consistent growth.
  • The payout ratios and financials are stable, endorsing the sustainability of the dividends.

23. First National Financial Stock

First National Financial Stock
  • Ticker: FN.TO
  • Sector: Financials (Mortgage Lending)
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 6.59%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 72.53%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Feb 15, 2023
  • Market Cap: $2.31 Billion
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 13.14
  • Average Analyst Rating: 3.0 - Hold

First National Financial is one of the largest non-bank mortgage lenders, a position that comes with certain risks and rewards.

The residential real estate market has been abnormally hot for a few years now, and if people start defaulting on their residential loans, First National might find it difficult to survive since it doesn’t have the financial weight and assets of a large bank.

But since it also makes commercial loans (which spreads out the risk) and can cater to a market beyond what banks have captured, it can create a more sizeable revenue stream from essentially the same mortgages that banks give.

  • It has been generously growing its payouts for ten consecutive years, 38% in the last five years.
  • The payout ratios have been relatively safe in the last ten years.

24. Exchange Income Fund Stock

Exchange Income Fund Stock
  • Ticker: EIF.TO
  • Sector: Industrials
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 4.79%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 89.69%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Feb 15, 2023
  • Market Cap: $2.32 Billion
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 14.04
  • Average Analyst Rating: 1.8 - Buy

Exchange Income Fund is a small-cap acquisition company with several organizations related to the airline/aviation business in its portfolio from all across the world.

This diversification contributed to the company’s resilience during the 2020 pandemic when despite a massive 63% fall, the company didn’t just recover before the broader airline sector but also sustained its payouts.

  • EIF has grown its payouts for ten consecutive years and offers a powerful combination of dividends and growth.
  • It’s a financially stable and resilient business.
  • It pays monthly dividends, has a better frequency for passive income, and is relatively unique outside the real estate sector.

25. Slate Grocery REIT Stock

Slate Grocery REIT Stock
  • Ticker: SGR-UN.TO
  • Sector: Real Estate 
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 7.78%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 43.49%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Feb 15, 2023
  • Market Cap: $974.40 Million
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 0
  • Average Analyst Rating: 2.5 - Buy

Slate Grocery, while listed in Canada and part of Toronto-based Slate Asset Management, is purely a US-based REIT. It has a portfolio of 107 properties in 23 US states, though with a much higher concentration in the east coast states.

Almost all of its properties are grocery-anchored (96%), which is a timeless and almost recession-proof business.

  • It offers sustainability and safety of dividends through its asset class
  • It’s a decent combination of capital appreciation potential and dividend-based returns.

Dividend Sustainability


You want your dividend stocks to maintain (ideally grow) their payouts. That’s one of the reasons why dividend aristocrats are so popular. In Canada, dividend aristocrats are companies that have grown their dividends for five or more consecutive years.

This is a much “lenient” criteria compared to the US where a company has to grow its dividends for 25 consecutive years to claim the title of dividends, but even with the less restrictive criteria in place, dividend aristocrats offer more confidence to investors when it comes to dividend sustainability because:

  • Aristocrats are more invested in maintaining and growing their dividends (compared to other companies) because oftentimes (not always), these dividends are the primary investor motivation.” If they slash their dividends, investors are highly likely to jump ship. It’s a risk that dividend-paying companies, especially aristocrats, rarely take, and they try to remediate the situation as soon as possible.
  • Dividend growth, even if it’s relatively mild (in single digits each year), helps your dividend income stay ahead of inflation.

 But even if you are choosing from the select pool of dividend aristocrats, it’s a good idea to look into other sustainability indicators.

Financials: That’s the first thing you have to look into if you want to gauge whether a company will be able to sustain its dividends.

A dividend-paying company must have enough funds each quarter or month to pay dividends to its shareholders while maintaining operations expenses, which come before dividends.

If a company cannot maintain its operations from its income, it might slash or suspend its dividends in order to keep the lights on. There are many financial metrics/ratios that you can look into, but for dividend sustainability, a few are:

  1. Payout Ratio: It tells you what part of the income the company is paying in the form of dividends. Payout ratios differ from industry to industry. Banks usually stay below 50%, while it’s not uncommon to see REITs with payouts ratio near (or above) 100%. Generally, payout ratios between 30% and 60% are considered healthy, but they should never be taken as a stand-alone metric.
  2. Dividend Coverage Ratio: This ratio divides a company’s after-tax profits by the amount of money it has to pay out in dividends to determine how many times a company can pay dividends to its investors in a fiscal period (usually a quarter). The higher the ratio, the better.
  3. Free Cash Flow To Equity: Free cash flow tells you how much cash is available for all individuals and parties that have a stake in the business. That includes shareholders and debtholders. Free Cash Flow to Equity Ratio (FCFE) tells you how much cash is left for equity holders and is a good measure to determine whether there is enough cash to pay off dividends.

Apart from these financial ratios, debt is an important financial aspect to consider. High and steadily increasing net debt can be troubling.

History: The future performance of a stock, including its ability to sustain its dividends, can be reasonably gauged by its past. That doesn’t mean that if a company hasn’t slashed its dividends in the past, it will never do so in the future.

A company’s past performance isn’t a guarantee of similar future performance, but it’s the best data set we have to predict and plan for the future. For dividend stock, one important thing you should look for is how high or low the payout ratios have been throughout its history.

Competitive Advantage: The competitive advantage is an intangible quality, but it can help you predict a business’ income (consequently dividend) sustainability as well as the chances of its growth.

Businesses that are obvious leaders in their respective industries are good picks, and smaller players in niche markets might also offer stability.

Monopolies and oligopolies (Big Five Canadian banks, three telecom giants, two railway giants) ensure dividend sustainability as well.

Make sure to be on the lookout for disruptive trends and technologies that can disrupt even the giants from their positions, like what green power is doing to certain energy players. However, that’s something that will play out in decades, not years.

Dividend Stocks: Overall Return Potential

Dividend Stocks: Overall Return Potential

When it comes to the return potential of a dividend stock, yield is the first thing that investors do and should look into.

Yield: When it comes to yield, the formula is simple: The bigger, the better. But only if “bigger” doesn’t start impacting sustainability.

Often high-yield stocks are high-yield because the company’s financials and valuation are in a slump, and if the slump continues for long enough, the company may slash or suspend its dividends.

So make sure the high yield is also sustainable. You can lock in a high yield during market crashes and corrections, which would also be a good buy from a valuation perspective.

When it comes to choosing between yield and dividend growth perspectives, time is an important variable to consider.

Even if a stock is paying a lower yield, if it’s growing its payouts every year, the dividend income you get from it would eventually match (given enough years and the difference between the two yields) what you would get from a higher-yielding stock.

For stocks with just a 1% or lower difference between yields, it might happen within a decade.

Capital Appreciation: Capital appreciation shouldn’t just be considered an added bonus when investing in dividend stocks; it’s part of the equation and the decision-making process, especially from a value-investing perspective.

A 3% yield might look significantly more attractive compared to a 5% yield if the former comes with a capital appreciation in the long term. But the conundrum is that few growth stocks have high enough yields to be considered for their dividends.

And generous dividend stocks with high yields often offer minimal to no capital appreciation potential. For such stocks, make sure they can at least be relied upon for capital preservation. Fluctuations might be fine, but a gradual but consistent decline can spell trouble.

How to buy Canadian dividend stocks

You can purchase stocks in Canada through most Canadian brokerage platforms that offer stock and ETF trading. My top choices are Wealthsimple Trade and Questrade.

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To learn more, check out my full breakdown of the best trading platforms in Canada here.


I chose these stocks because they span multiple industries in Canada and are known for their track record and reliability.

I hope this list of the best dividend stocks in Canada will help you identify new prospects and develop a well-diversified and stable dividend portfolio.

The potential capital appreciation they offer, in addition to their dividend payments, can make them powerful contributors to the growth of your nest egg if you hold onto them for long enough.

If you want to learn more about dividends in Canada, check out my picks for the best dividend aristocrats in Canada and the best monthly dividend stocks as well.

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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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9 thoughts on “25 Best Canadian Dividend Stocks (Feb 2023): Earn Passive Income”

  1. Not exactly so. Let’s say you have $10,000 to invest. If you invest in a $15 stock that made you a profit of $3/share, you both have earned more in percentage as well as risked less capital, than if you invested in a $50 that yielded the same profit.

    So for example, if you bought 500 shares of the $15 stock, you spent $7,500 and have more capital to buy other stocks. With $3 profit per share your profit would be $1,500 (20%). If, on the other hand, you wanted to buy the $50 stock — with $10,000 you could only buy 200 shares, have no more capital left to buy other stocks, and your profit at $3 a share would be $600 (6%).

    • Thanks Lily, yes it’s the percentage gain that matters, not the dollar gain of the stock. In your example, your first $15 stock made a much larger percentage gain than the $50 stock so yes, it was a better investment.

  2. How good are these returns? Well, let’s just say that the S P 500, inclusive of dividends and when adjusted for inflation, has historically returned 7% annually, with the Dow closer to 5.7% a year, on average, over its 123-year history.


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