Picking good dividend stock has been a challenge in the past year as the rout in the commodities space has taken its toll on many of Canada’s former dividend darlings.

Investors are now being more cautious about the stocks they buy, especially if they need the dividends for supplemental income.

The best choices are companies that have a long history of dividend growth and operate in sectors where new entrants are unlikely to emerge.

Here are the reasons why I think Fortis Inc. (TSX:FTS), Telus Corporation (TSX:T)(NYSE:TU), and Royal Bank of Canada (TSX:RY)(NYSE:RY) are top picks right now.

Fortis Inc.

Fortis operates electricity and gas utility companies in Canada, the U.S., and the Caribbean.

This doesn’t sound overly exciting, but the results certainly are. In fact, these assets generate the cash flow and earnings that dividend investors should be looking for.

Fortis gets 93% of its revenue from regulated assets, which means income investors can rely on the revenue stream. The cash flow is so stable that Fortis has actually increased the dividend payout every year for more than four decades, making it one of Canada’s dividend champions.

Fortis pays a distribution of $1.36 per share that yields about 3.7%.

Telus Corporation

Telus is firmly committed to providing its customers with the best service of any telecom company in Canada.

That strategy is paying off.

The company boasts the lowest mobile churn rate in the industry and is luring new TV and Internet customers away from competitors.

Happy customers also pay more. The company’s Q1 blended average revenue per user (ARPU) rose to $62.34. It was the 18th consecutive year-over-year ARPU gain.

Telus pays a dividend of $1.68 per share that yields about 3.8%. The company has increased the payout nine times in the past four years.

Royal Bank of Canada

Concerns about the Canadian economy have hit bank stocks recently and that is providing a great opportunity to buy fantastic stocks at very reasonable prices.

Royal Bank’s earnings suggest the bank is doing just fine. In fact, Q2 2015 adjusted earnings came in at a record $2.4 billion. That’s 9% higher than the same period last year.

The bank gets its revenue from a variety of sources. More than 50% of the earnings still come from personal and commercial banking activities, but Royal Bank also has strong capital markets, wealth management, and insurance divisions.

The company pays a dividend of $3.08 per share that now yields 4.2%. Long-term investors have done very well holding this stock and that trend should continue.

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Fool contributor Andrew Walker has no position in any stocks mentioned.