As Foolish investors know, dividend-paying stocks outperform non-dividend-paying stocks over the long term, and the top performers are those that raise their payouts every year. With these facts in mind, let’s take a look at three stocks that you could buy today to form your instant three-stock dividend-growth portfolio.

1. TransCanada Corporation

TransCanada Corporation (TSX:TRP)(NYSE:TRP) is one of North America’s largest owners and operators of energy infrastructure assets, including natural gas and oil pipelines, power generation facilities, and natural gas storage facilities. It pays a quarterly dividend of $0.565 per share, or $2.26 per share annually, which gives its stock a yield of about 4.5% at today’s levels.

It is also important to make two notes.

First, TransCanada has raised its annual dividend payment for 15 consecutive years, and its 8.7% hike in February has it on pace for 2016 to mark the 16th consecutive year with an increase.

Second, the company has an annual dividend-per-common-share growth target of 8-10% through 2020, making it one of the energy sector’s top dividend-growth plays.

2. SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.

SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. (TSX:SNC) is one of the world’s largest engineering and construction companies, and it is a major player in the ownership of infrastructure, including airports, bridges, highways, mass transit systems, and water treatment facilities. It pays a quarterly dividend of $0.26 per share, or $1.04 per share annually, which gives its stock a yield of about 2.25% at today’s levels.

It is also important to make two notes.

First, SNC-Lavalin has raised its annual dividend payment for 15 consecutive years, and its 4% hike on March 3 has it on pace for 2016 to mark the 16th consecutive year with an increase.

Second, the company traditionally announces its dividend increases in its fourth-quarter earnings reports, so investors should look for its next increase around March 2017.

3. Plaza Retail REIT

Plaza Retail REIT (TSX:PLZ.UN) is one of the largest owners, developers, and managers of retail real estate in Canada with 302 properties in eight provinces. It pays a monthly distribution of $0.02167 per share, or $0.26 per share annually, which gives its stock a yield of about 5.6% at today’s levels.

It is also important to make two notes.

First, Plaza has raised its annual distribution for 12 consecutive years, and its 4% hike that took effect in January has it on pace for 2016 to mark the 13th consecutive year with an increase.

Second, I think the company’s consistent growth in funds from operations, including its 6.7% year-over-year increase to an adjusted $0.318 per share in fiscal 2015, will allow its streak of annual dividend increases to continue going forward.

And here are three more of our TOP dividend stock picks for the road...

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Fool contributor Joseph Solitro has no position in any stocks mentioned.