The friendly dividend histories of great Canadian stocks

The friendly dividend histories of great Canadian stocks

Readers of this site will know I take a hybrid approach to investing.

I invest in a number of Canadian dividend paying stocks for long-term growth and income.

You can check out a big part of that income journey here.

I also invest in some low-cost Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) for U.S. and international diversification.

There are quite a few dividend payers in Canada but the ones that provide steady dividend increases and those companies that have been paying dividends for decades or even generations is a short list. In that spirit, here is a list of Canadian dividend paying stocks that have friendly dividend histories.

You’ll see in my list below, I’ve highlighted some popular, well-known stocks. I’ve organized these stocks based on key sectors and/or industries found in the TSX Composite Index. Not all Canadian stocks nor sectors are represented in this list mind you – that list would be huge. I will however amend this list over time and keep you updated, including some considerations to expand the information to include consecutive dividend increases or other metrics.

Note: Dividend histories highlighted below are based on my research and/or based on direct contact with the company investor relations team. Most dates include the earliest dividend declaration date and not necessarily the payment date to shareholders per se. Any discrepancies in the information below are appreciated via comments and sources for your data; to keep this post current and accurate for all. Thanks!

Big Canadian banks (financials)

These stocks have been the foundation for Canadian mutual funds, ETFs, DIY portfolios and institutional portfolios for decades.

  • Bank of Montreal (BMO) – paid dividends since 1829.
  • Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) – paid dividends since 1832.
  • TD (TD) – paid dividends since 1857.
  • CIBC (CM) – paid dividends since 1868.
  • Royal Bank (RY) – paid dividends since 1870.
  • Laurentian Bank (LB) – paid dividends since 1886.
  • National Bank (NA) – paid dividends since 1980.
  • Canadian Western Bank (CWB) – paid dividends since 1992.

Top Canadian life insurance companies (financials)

Three life insurance companies dominate our Canadian economy:

  • Great West Life (GWO) – paid dividends since 1986.
  • Manulife Financial (MFC) – paid dividends since 2000.
  • Sun Life Life Financial (SLF) – paid dividends since 2000.

Other top Canadian financials

  • Thomson Reuters (TRI) – paid dividends since 1989.
  • Power Corporation (POW) – paid dividends since 1998.
  • Power Financial (PWF) – paid dividends since 1998.

At time of this post, I am awaiting replies from other companies, including Brookfield Asset Management (BAM.A).

Big Canadian energy

After Canadian financials, which dominate our economy in the neighbourhood of 30-40% market weighting, energy is next with historically a 15-25% index weighting.

  • Imperial Oil (IMO) – paid dividends since 1947.
  • Enbridge (ENB) – paid dividends since 1953.
  • Suncor (SU) – paid dividends since 1992.
  • TransCanada Corporation (TRP) – paid dividends “since the late 1960s” as per their Investor Relations team.
  • Pembina Pipeline (PPL) – paid dividends since it was a trust, since 1997.
  • Inter Pipeline (IPL) – like Pembina, paid dividends since it was a trust, since 1997.
  • Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ) – paid dividends since 2001.

Our big three Canadian telcos

“Robellus” – you know, the big-3 telcos in Canada? They’ve paid dividends for many years too.  Telecommunications companies typically make up about 5% or so of our index:

  • Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE) – paid dividends since 1880 (formal records date back to 1949).
  • Telus (T) – paid dividends since 1999.
  • Rogers (RCI.B) – paid dividends since 2003.

Major Canadian railroads and industrials

Industrials, give or take, make up 10% of our index.

  • Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) – paid dividends since 2001.
  • Canadian National Railway (CNR) – paid dividends since 2005.
  • Waste Connections (WCN) – paid dividends since 2010.

Top Canadian material companies

Materials, give or take, also make up 10% of our index.

  • Barrick Gold (ABX) – paid dividends since 1987.
  • Nutrien (NTR) – paid dividends since 2018 (after the POT and AGU merger).

Top Canadian consumer companies

Consumer companies typically represent less than 5% of our index:

  • Magna International (MG) – paid dividends since at least 1993, will be confirmed with investor relations.
  • Metro (MRU) – paid dividends since 1999. *Singing Prince’s 1999 song…as I type*
  • Loblaw (L) – paid dividends since 2010.
  • Dollarama (DOL) – paid dividends since 2011.

I intend to post more dividend histories from Canadian consumer companies in the future.

Our biggest Canadian utilities

Surprisingly, utilities have <5% share of our index (but have a number of companies that solid dividend histories).

  • Canadian Utilities (CU) – paid dividends since 1950.
  • Fortis (FTS) – paid dividends since 1972.
  • Emera (EMA) – paid dividends since 1992.
  • Atco (ACO.X) – paid dividends since 1993.
  • Brookfield Renewable Energy (BEP.UN) – paid dividends since 2003.
  • Algonquin Power (AQN) – paid dividends since 2009.
  • Capital Power (CPX) – paid dividends since 2009.

Big Canadian real estate investment trusts (REITs) and real estate players

REITs typically represent less than 5% of our index but also provide dependable income, in some cases.

  • RioCan REIT (REI.UN) – paid dividends since 1994.
  • Canadian Apartment Properties (CAR.UN) – paid dividends since 1998.
  • Chartwell REIT (CSH.UN) – paid dividends since 2003.
  • Boardwalk REIT (BEI.UN) – paid dividends since 2003; still awaiting confirmation from investor relations.
  • H&R Real Estate (HR.UN) – paid dividends since 2009.
  • Brookfield Property Partners (BPY.UN) – paid dividends since 2013.

I intend to post more dividend histories from Canadian REITs in the future.

There is no IT sector here given some Canadian IT companies do not pay handsome dividends although we know that is not the case with our U.S. IT counterparts.  I will definitely consider adding some IT companies in future updates!

Final notes – I am not advocating these stocks for your portfolio.  I am however stating that based on the shareholder-friendly histories of some of these companies, I own some of them. As always, please consider consulting with a financial professional before making any major investment decision. 

Thanks to all the Investor Relations teams that kindly responded to my email requests for this information above.

What other Canadian stocks that have paid dividends for many years that you’d like to see on this list? 

Mark Seed is the founder, editor and owner of My Own Advisor. As my own DIY financial advisor, I've grown our portfolio to over $500,000 - but there's more work to do! Our next big goal is to own a $1 million investment portfolio for an early retirement. Subscribe and join the journey!

64 Responses to "The friendly dividend histories of great Canadian stocks"

  1. Awesome list. Thanks Mark for sharing this. I am new to dividend investing and was wondering where I could find a list like this and lo and behold you shared it!

    Reply
    1. Well, definitely real estate Lloyd. BPY themselves say so:
      “Brookfield Property Partners (NASDAQ: BPY, TSX: BPY.UN) (“BPY”) is a diversified global real estate company that owns, operates and develops one of the largest portfolios of office, retail, multifamily, industrial, hospitality, triple net lease, self-storage, student housing and manufactured housing assets. Its investment objective is to generate attractive long-term returns on equity of 12%−15% based on stable cash flows, asset appreciation and annual distribution growth of 5%−8%.”

      Reply
      1. Absolutely no doubt it is real estate but to qualify as a REIT there have to be certain conditions met (payouts, taxes, etc) and I don’t think BPY meets them, nor do I think they necessarily want to meet them. They’re just a global real estate company. I hold a LOT of them and several of the other Brookfield family including BAM.A itself. My FA got me into them quite a while ago and it was the best move we ever made.

        Reply
      2. Not a REIT but a Limited Partnership (Bermuda based LP).

        It seems they couldn’t qualify as REIT in either Canada or the US with their current structure.

        Or they could qualify but chose not to, as it would likely have increased witholding tax for Canadian investors as a US REIT, or witholding tax for US investors as a Canadian REIT.

        US investors can buy Brookfield Property REIT which shall have an equivalent economic return, but won’t have the same asset base as BPY in order to comply with US REIT rules.

        Reply
        1. Yes, a Limited Partnership given their structure….so I’ve amended the post to also include “read estate” since I don’t want to be misleading. Thanks to you and Lloyd for the push for clarification.

          Reply
  2. Nice list, I have many of those 🙂
    For Canadian Reit’s, I gave up selecting them and decided to go with ZRE.TO which covers most of those mentioned. It has a decent steady 4.7% yield and is less volatile.
    Isn’t anyone worried about LB’s yield and a future dividend cut? They always wind up on these lists, but somehow no one want’s to really address that…

    Reply
    1. ZRE is a good product if you don’t want to pick and choose REITs, I can certainly see that play.

      As for LB, I suspect the stock price will come back to $50 or so and the yield will come down accordingly. P/E is under 8, which is VERY cheap and earnings per share are close to $6. Based on that they can easy cover the dividend.

      Reply
    2. I have a very small position in LB as it’s not among the big 6. I agree that dividend should be safe. At current prices, I rather go for bns, bigger bank and cheap too.

      Reply
      1. I’d like to get more BNS in 2019+ myself. I’m fine with some LB shares for now. Only getting more via my DRIP every quarter – not backing up the truck per se to buy more.

        Reply
    3. I find the MER for ZRE too high for my taste due the the small number of holdings.

      Once the portfolio reaches a certain size, it gets much cheaper to just buy 100 units of each REIT in it, as you pay comission once but then have no ongoing management fees. Or you can just buy 1000$ worth of a different REIT of the index each month with a 10$ commission, so your fee will be 1% of the amount invested and not 0.55% yearly.

      Regarding LB, it’s a tempting investment due to it’s high yield for a bank. Unfortunately it also has a few things going against it :
      – Unionized staff, so less flexible workforce, both in promoting talent and firing dead weight.
      – Little growth prospects outside of the province of Quebec
      – Asset management services way behind the competition
      – No real insurance offering

      So basically, they earn their bread and butter selling home mortgages in Quebec. Rising rates can help them increase the earnings over the next few years, but softening real estate prices, a lousy labor market or any reason making people wait before buying their next house or not qualify for a loan could cause a big drop in their business.

      Just not a very defensive and resilient business overall, IMHO.

      They can probably still afford the dividend for a long time, just don’t expect much growth going forward.

      Buying back shares might increase shareholders returns, especially now that the stock lost 30% within a year.

      Anouncment of a NCIB aiming at 10% of the float could put a floor under the trading price and get me interested in the stock, otherwise the dividend isn’t even making up for the capital losses on the shares.

      Reply
      1. I meant to add…I’ve largely ‘unbundled’ any VRE, ZRE, XRE ETF by owning about 8 CDN REITs directly. No fee this way after I get enough of each to DRIP every month.

        Reply
  3. I enjoy reading your articles as they give me new ideas about investing. I’m afraid I am a pretty old school, low risk investor. I only buy Canadian stocks that pay dividends and are companies whose products I use or know very well. For example when our gas bill kept going up I figured the only way I could profit from it was to buy shares of Alta Gas (it’s at a low now and pays a good dividend). Everyone uses sugar so I buy Rogers Sugar on a low (it’s quite high right now). Stuart Olson builds all kind of buildings, so I have some of those shares too. I really like companies that pay monthly rather than quarterly because it’s just easier to keep track of my income. These are just my lazy way of investing. And mostly in TFSAs.

    Reply
    1. ALA is crazy yield now. I don’t know if I would own that one myself.
      Rogers Sugar, I understand the appeal.

      I also buy what I consume. Enbridge (I need to heat my home); Telus (I have a cellphone); the list goes on.

      Thanks for your comment Diane.

      Reply
      1. ALA is low now, as they are on a buying spree. However in the past 10 years their stock continues to go up and down. So if you buy now at its low, it should creep up to its high, as it has done for many years. I like to see that it is acquiring companies everywhere, but is still really a Canadian company, which is why I own shares in it. As long as it pays a good dividends (which it does) I will continue to own it. It dropped it’s DRIP program, which to some people is bad, but I’m not really a fan of DRIP since you end up owning odd numbers of shares which can be a problem (fees) when you want to sell, for example 21 shares of a company, when most people (I think) want 100 shares. So the brokerage makes up their profit by selling these weird numbers of shares.
        Anyway I think your articles are helping people to see that they can start to invest without a financial planner and do OK. At least they don’t have to pay all the mutual fund fees (most of which are not very transparent!) Although they do have to do some research and figure out their goals.

        Reply
        1. I don’t mind companies acquiring companies, rather, paying > 10% yield is not sustainable. If that doesn’t come down there will be a dividend cut for sure. I just don’t know when 🙂

          “Anyway I think your articles are helping people to see that they can start to invest without a financial planner and do OK….”

          Thanks for that Diane. I enjoy running the site. Cheers!

          Reply
        2. “It dropped it’s DRIP program”

          Just to clarify, response from ALA Investor Relations….

          “It is only the Premium DRIP (PDRIP) that has been suspended. The regular DRIP program will remain in effect and is unchanged.

          Investor Relations at AltaGas Ltd.”

          Reply
  4. Nice list of companies, many I do own some are on my watch list. I like that you point out longevity it is often overlooked as a key quality when considering investing.

    Possible additions for your consideration:
    Smartcentres REIT (SRU.UN) paying divs since at least 2002
    Brookfield Infrastructure Partners (BIP.UN) one of my Utility favs offering instant sector and region diversification with roads, rail, data, ports, energy, forestry and agriculture. Divs since at least 2009.

    Unfortunately I do not see a benefit of adding Canadian IT, hesitant to even add US IT as they can be held in vanilla ETF’s. You get most of the upside while avoiding some of the GOOG, FB and AMZN risks I always feel they are just one lawsuit away from catastrophe, APPL is a great company making great products (we own several Mac’s) but I’m unconvinced their $800+ phones are recession proof. Sticking with index funds…

    Reply
    1. I will see if I can get SRU.UN and BIP.UN confirmed in the coming weeks and update the post.

      As for IT sector, yes, prefer to get that exposure via VTI, VYM or other broad-based ETF for sure.

      Reply
  5. I have unbundeld BMO ZDV for my Canadian Dividend stocks. Own about 40 stocks right now. I would love to do more metrics and analysis to build my dividend portfolio but not sure how much time it will take to follow all the individual companies etc.

    Reply
    1. I hear you Kevin, it takes some effort to follow that many stocks. I will eventually trim some positions myself, get it to around 25-30 in the coming years. Put some money into U.S. ETFs – then the portfolio is on autopilot. 🙂

      Reply
  6. Nice list Mark

    I see we basically have the same strategy – TFSA for canadian dividend/growth stocks & ETF’s in RRSP etc for international.

    Regarding some companies not on your list, for banks – i’d look at Canadian Western Bank – they have a very solid track record of not only paying, but also increasing their dividend.

    Plaza Reit has also increased their dividend for quite some time now….though the stock price has been fairly flat.

    Reply
    1. True about CWB. More of a niche bank out West. I prefer LB for the high EPS and good yield right now. I will consider adding to the list though.
      Their website only shows dividend history to 2010, not sure if they go back further. Would have to contact investor relations.

      As for Plaza, interesting one for sure. Very small player REIT. I wouldn’t be surprised if there isn’t a takeover here.

      Reply
  7. CWB has increased their dividend for 20+ calendar years in a row (according to the Canadian Dividend All Star list).

    I’ve owned Plaza for about 5 years- it has a lot of insider ownership. Hopefully eventually we see the stock price jump, but im okay Dripping shares each month for now at a lower rate.

    Reply
    1. Sadly, I don’t think I have too many more left to report this week (BAM, AQN, EIF, EXE) that will likely have any further increases. Possibly IPL this afternoon (fingers crossed). I think the only other one coming up in the next four weeks that has a decent chance of an increase is NA at the beginning of December.

      Reply
      1. NA increased in May, so did AQN so I don’t see that again. I could be wrong! I would hope IPL does not increase their dividend again…dare I say that….they need to kill some debt. Their stock price is suffering and any yield >7% long-term is not sustainable.

        Reply
        1. NA did a $.02 back in June and they have been going every second quarter so I think there is a pretty decent chance of them announcing in December. IPL did $.005 last November so I’d not be surprised if they do $.0025 today, we will find out shortly.

          Reply
          1. The RRSPs and TFSAs currently hold 25 on the Toronto exchange but two are insignificant (CSH.UN and MFC) as they are just orphaned DRIPs. The non-reg account is idle for all intents and purposes. I don’t hold any other stocks directly. All my foreign exchange stuff is held through the e-series.

      2. Looks like ipl came through but the raises are getting smaller, but I’ll take it.
        Looking at financials, yield, payout ratio etc I can see why.

        14 to 14.25
        ~1.8%

        Reply
          1. The link I provided earlier did not mention any increase and had this…”Inter Pipeline’s current monthly dividend rate is
            $0.14 per share, or $1.68 per share on an annualized basis.” I took current to be current not in the past but I guess that is the way they do it.

            There is now a second separate release mentioning the increase. Seems kinda goofy to me but what the hay, I’ll take it. 🙂

          2. Lloyd,
            I’m seeing the increase announced. It’s also interesting some of what I wrote is far from what they publish.
            Record financial/operating quarter, good YOY, low payout ratios, all good news. Going to have to try and remember my other sources.
            Something has been hurting this stock. I note they issued 200M stock a couple of days ago @ 20.80. Are expectations much higher than they’re delivering?

            http://www.interpipeline.com/news/news-releases.cfm

          3. Issuing stocks isn’t a good thing usually…I mean…trying to raise cash but also paying out more in dividends? Are they thinking issuance will > dividends paid and therefore net positive? I don’t see this increase as a good thing. Sometimes, management simply needs to be conservative.

          4. That was definitely kind of weird Lloyd. Almost like someone forgot it and release got rewritten, or it was available in my time zone first and not yours. I saw it in the first line of your link. Dunno???

            I agree Mark, I didn’t see it coming but obviously they want to keep the 10 yr streak going and I’m sure we’ll all take it. Not much to me $20+/yr but bigger payday = good for us.

          5. I’ll have to do the math when I get home. Own a few hundred shares so likely a bit more income but not much. Ah well. I’ve got more important things to do…trying to scrimp and save for $12K for upcoming TFSA! or $11K, I dunno, something like that whenever the Feds announce it!?

          6. I went back to previous years. It seems issuing two news releases is the way IPL does it. I guess I never noticed that before (or forgot). I ‘m guessing I just looked before the second one was released. I notice in 2017 they did it reverse in that they issued the news release of the dividend increase followed by the quarterly report. I’m going to go with bad timing for me to have looked before the dividend increase release was posted. In the big picture it doesn’t really matter and I’ll know better for next year (fingers crossed).

          7. Doesn’t matter Lloyd. You’re on top of this stuff better than most of us, including me.

            Mark, I agree on the share issuance/raise. Maybe a little jiggery pokery?

            Anyway, we’ll march on. G/L saving for the TFSA contribution. I’m ready.

        1. Only 200 IPLs so not much impact on my side. Still, a raise is a raise. 🙂

          I am all ready for new year’s RRSP/TFSA/RESP contribution. Cannot believe time flying so fast, another year already.

          Reply
          1. I’m sure there will be more in your future. Yes, a raise is good!

            I was working from memory on mine – have a little more than I thought 673 shares and dripping since beginning of this yr.

            You’re really on it concerning your savings/investing!

  8. We’re not dividend investors per se but we do own a few CIBC shares, a result of my wife’s employment with them for a few years before leaving on mat leave, and I’m always amazed at the dividend growth over the last few years. It was flat for a while but had grown significantly recently. Its fun to see the dividends roll in each quarter.

    It would be awesome to see this analysis but with dividend growth rates, comments on flat periods, periods of fast growth, payout ratios etc. It’s pretty cool to look back just a few years ago and see how much the dividend has grown.

    Reply
    1. I hope to put something together in the coming weeks Owen. There are sites that can help show a comparable of XIU/XIC/TSX vs. stocks. It’s absolutely GREAT to see the dividends roll in, including increases: SLF, NTR, T (Telus) for me in one week 🙂

      Reply
    2. I became a serious dividend growth investor last year. We drip in all of our registered accounts. This year so far, I got $2500 more forwarding dividends/income/distributions already from organic growth (drips and dividend raises). It’s absolutely amazing to see forwarding income increase month after month.

      Reply
      1. “This year so far, I got $2500 more forwarding dividends/income/distributions already from organic growth (drips and dividend raises).”

        Money that makes money can make more money. Well done.

        Reply
      2. @Mark and @RBull, thanks a lot for the encouragement. I am hoping I could get $2800 organic income growth by the end of the year. Finger crossed. Considering I need to invest $70,000 new money in order to get $2800 annual income assuming yield 4%, it’s surely not a bad feeling.

        I aimed for Financial Freedom in 5 years at the end of last year. I feel I should be on the right path despite of bumps here and there. Now only 4 years ahead. Hope everything goes smoothly and I could get there.

        Reply

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