Top Private Investigator Firms in Ottawa

Top 6 Private Investigator Firms in Ottawa

You can always do some sleuthing on your own if you think your significant other is cheating on you or if you need someone’s background thoroughly checked.

Or you can get the services of a top private investigator in Ottawa to ensure that it’s done efficiently and discreetly. (We personally recommend this option.)

Today’s listicle features some reputable private investigation firms that do their jobs well. Of course, before thinking of hiring one to handle your case, you’ll want to know how much their services cost.

How Much Does a Private Investigator Charge in Ottawa?

Not all private investigators will charge similarly, but there are national averages as indicated in the table below. Some basic services like the ones listed in the last three rows of the table often require flat fees because they’re usually considered standard procedures.

PRIVATE INVESTIGATION FEEESTIMATED COST
Hourly rate$50 – $150 per hour
Retainer$1,000 – $5,000
Additional expensesMileage $.45 – $1 per additional mile
GPS tracker use$50 – $75 per day
Missing person search$300 – $600
Background check$300 – $600 (depending on how in-depth the report is)
Cheating spouse/partner surveillance$300 – $1,000

Still, others prefer to charge an hourly rate depending on the complexity of the case. The more straightforward or uncomplicated the issue, the lower the hourly fee usually is.

There are also additional costs to consider such as how far a private investigator has to travel, plus the accommodations, meals, transportation, and other factors involved. These are often indicated in the invoice on top of the hourly or retainer fees.

Retainer fees are pretty straightforward in that you pay the cost upfront and get refunded for what’s left over or unused. If the private investigator services are obtained through a lawyer, you typically won’t be charged a retainer because it’s the lawyer who’ll get the PI’s invoice.

The Top Private Investigator Firms in Ottawa

You are now ready to get a pro to handle your case with a general idea of how much to pay for their services. Let’s take a look at the top private investigator firms in Ottawa you can approach.

1.   The Smith Investigation Agency

The Smith Investigation Agency's Homepage
SERVICESSurveillance, investigative research, GPS tracking devices, TSCM services, skip tracing, background checks, private investigator training, social media monitoring
ADDRESS100 Metcalfe St, Ottawa, ON K1P 5M1
CONTACT NUMBER(888) 950-4113 (toll free)
[email protected]
WEBSITEhttps://smithinvestigationagency.com
OPERATING HOURS(By appointment only)
Monday to Friday 8 AM – 5 PM
Closed on Saturdays and Sundays

The Smith Investigation Agency promises to “exceed your expectations, not your budget”. And while no pricing scheme can be found on its website, the company does promise fair hourly rates or set amounts with no hidden charges.

It’s an all-woman team agency that offers a comprehensive menu of private investigation services. There’s ample feedback from past clients attesting to the discretion and openness of the firm’s investigators and staff.

As a result, the firm was named the Best Woman-Owned Private Investigative Agency in East Canada and the Most Innovative Woman in Executive Protection at the 2017 International AI- Influential Business Woman Awards.

Clients can approach The Smith Investigation Agency for anything from straightforward surveillance to complex criminal background checks. The team can even vet potential nannies, daycare workers, or even your future spouse!

Pros

  • Uses high-quality HD-4K equipment for surveillance
  • BBB-accredited, A rating
  • 2017-2020 Best Private Investigators Consumer Choice awardee

Cons

  • Office is closed on weekends

Customer Reviews

See how past clients liked the services of The Smith Investigation Agency:

“I own a small business not located in the area, and I was searching for a company (in Northern Ontario) that offers Private Investigative services. I needed a company that could provide a variety of services vs. just one.  After looking at a few companies online, I realized that many of them were unprofessional and couldn’t give direct answers to my very simple questions. I found Smith Investigations on the Better business bureau website and liked that they gave air miles as a bonus. When I called the company, I needed background checks completed, and surveillance is done. They were the only company who could do both and in the short amount of time that I needed it done. I liked how Whitney was very open and honest about things, such as pricing and the ETA of services completed.  I liked that Whitney responded quickly to my emails and calls. She had our reports done on the times she promised, and even our attorney said how well the reports were done. He doesn’t usually see work like that from private investigators for both services that were offered, so I’m glad I chose them.  The owner of the company was very helpful I would highly recommend The Smith Investigation Agency for Private Investigator work in Ontario.” – Ashley V.

“Exactly what I needed. Proof. Answers. Closure. The service was provided in a timely manner.

It was well worth its price. Very professional. Very happy I used Smith Investigations.” – Paul H.

2.   Hunt Investigations Ltd.

Hunt Investigations Ltd.'s Homepage
SERVICESCorporate investigations, insurance investigations, legal investigations, personal investigations
ADDRESS440 Laurier Avenue West Suite 200, Ottawa, Ontario K1R7X6
CONTACT NUMBER888.613.1120
613-799-4626 (call or text)
[email protected]
WEBSITEhttps://www.huntpi.com/
OPERATING HOURSBy appointment only

Hunt Investigations was founded in 1994 and has since done investigative work for both private clients and the Canadian government. It currently employs a seasoned team with each member having their own areas of specialization and expertise.

The agency handles investigations for personal corporate, and even legal and insurance cases. Its clientele includes attorneys who need work for criminal cases requiring surveillance, background checks, criminal, and civil investigations.

Business owners can also get Hunt Investigations’ services for corporate crimes like time theft and expense-account padding. When conducting corporate investigations, the team promises to be careful around intellectual property, copyright infringement, electronic fraud, and other issues.

Hunt Investigations places special emphasis on effective communication between the investigator and the client. The firm ensures that all deliverables are documented so no effort, time, and money are wasted in the process.

Pros

  • Surveillance services available
  • Uses a discreet and honest communication module
  • Good range of private investigative services

Cons

  • No BBB accreditation
  • No fixed operating hours
  • No discernible pricing matrix

Customer Reviews

Read the following client feedback on Hunt Investigations Ltd.:

“Used investigator surveillance for the first time for a condominium garbage issue and they nailed the culprits immediately. Flexible for last-minute shift changes and very professional. Will use again for any matters that require surveillance. Very satisfied.” – Leslie Brown

“Alex Hunt is hands down Ottawa’s best and most highly skilled Private Investigator. I have used the services of many private investigators over the years, but Alex has consistently outshined them all. Cutting-edge technology combined with extraordinary investigative skills, Hunt Investigations is my go-to investigation company 100% of the time now. Highly recommended!!!” – Robin Yates

3.   Lapointe Investigations

Lapointe Investigations' Homepage
SERVICESDomestic investigations, legal investigations, business investigations
ADDRESSOttawa, ON K1J 6H3, Canada
CONTACT NUMBER(613) 617-4523
[email protected]
WEBSITEhttp://lapointeinvestigations.ca/
OPERATING HOURSBy appointment only

Lapointe Investigations has straightforward investigative services that aren’t as extensive as other PI agencies. What it offers runs the gamut of common domestic, legal, and business investigations.

Last-minute investigations can be entertained once a request via email or phone call is made. However, the firm encourages a thorough pre-surveillance interview with the client to ensure greater chances of a successful investigation.

A surveillance period is done to obtain photo and video documentation of a target’s regular activities. Clients are also encouraged to keep in touch with the investigators on their cases for constant detailed updates and information.

The agency requires a retainer fee to protect all parties involved before taking on a case (with hourly rates depending on different factors). The retainer is pretty reasonable at $1,000 and can be paid for at the site’s online shop.   

Pros

  • Reasonable retainer fee at $1,000
  • Can accommodate last-minute investigation requests
  • Conducts thorough pre-surveillance work

Cons

  • Limited range of investigative services
  • No BBB accreditation
  • No fixed operating hours

Customer Reviews

Learn how past clients liked the services of Lapointe Investigations:

“I emailed Lapointe Investigations on a Sunday and received a reply by email almost right away. They were very professional and courteous and started to work on my case on Monday and had it solved by Tuesday the next day. The Rate is also quite competitive.” – Ray Martin

“We use Lapointe Investigations for all our background check needs. I find it hard to believe some of the stuff they dig up on the people applying for a job. They are always on time and immediate with e-mail responses to updates or queries.” – Sophie Bat

4.   Discreet Investigations & Security

Discreet Investigations & Security's Homepage
SERVICESSkip tracing, insurance investigation, background checks, cheating spouses, espionage and bug sweeps, audio, video, GPS surveillance, child custody, other investigations
ADDRESSToronto, ON, Canada M9B 6H7 (services the Ottawa area)
CONTACT NUMBER[email protected]
+1 (888) 680-0036
WEBSITEhttps://discreetinvestigations.ca
OPERATING HOURSBy appointment only

Though founded and based in Toronto, Discreet Investigations & Security makes it to this listicle because it services the Ottawa area, as well. It specializes in evidential data gathering using photographs, videos, internet-related activities, and other legal means.

It’s a licensed, insured, and bonded private investigation agency offering a full range of services. The agency can do premarital background checks, investigate cheating spouses, do detailed surveillance reports, and even conduct social media investigations.

Discreet Investigations & Security also handles missing cases like ex-spouses avoiding child support, witnesses in legal proceedings, adoption tracing, and even concealed assets and objects. The firm’s clientele includes private individuals, debt collectors, insurance companies, and estate executors.

Clients needing 24/7 surveillance can approach the agency for round-the-clock service. What they can’t do, though, is ask the team to break into private property or wiretap phones.

Pros

  • Full-service private investigation agency
  • 100% discretion for every case
  • Emergency hotline available

Cons

  • No fixed operating hours
  • No BBB accreditation
  • No discernible pricing matrix

Customer Reviews

The following clients have positive things to say about Discreet Investigations & Security:

“Excellent service from start to finish. This was my first time hiring an investigator and they made the process so easy.” – Stacey Burtlett

“James Glanville is the best in the business! His experience shows and I was so impressed with his background. I will use his company if the need should ever arise again.” – Jen McLean

5.   Haywood Hunt & Associates Inc. Investigative Services

Haywood Hunt & Associates Inc. Investigative Services' Homepage
SERVICESPersonal and family investigations, business and corporate investigations, surveillance services, skip tracing and locates, social media investigations, law firms and legal professionals
ADDRESS33 City Centre Dr #607, Mississauga, ON L5B 2N5 (services Ottawa clients)
CONTACT NUMBER613-565-7878 (Ottawa branch)
416-253-7878
[email protected]
WEBSITEhttps://haywoodhunt.ca
OPERATING HOURSMonday to Sunday 7 AM – 9 PM
By appointment only

Haywood Hunt & Associates Inc. Investigative Services is a Better Business Bureau accredited company with a consistent Aᐩ rating. All the private investigators in the firm’s roster have valid licenses and proper identification to prove they’re employed by Haywood Hunt.

It specializes in family and corporate investigations but also offers surveillance services for clients. Its investigative team has done decades of surveillance within the confines of the law.

It’s one of the few private investigator services in Ottawa offering a free initial consultation. Haywood Hunt vows to work within any client’s budget after thoroughly discussing the scope, plan of action, costs, and other important factors of a case.

Though open 7 days a week, appointments are strictly enforced. The free initial consultations can be booked via phone, email, or an online contact form.

Pros

  • Free initial consultations
  • BBB-accredited, Aᐩ rating
  • Provides safe and confidential meeting spaces for clients

Cons

  • Strictly by appointment (walk-ins not entertained)
  • No discernible pricing matrix

Customer Reviews

If you want to get the services of Haywood Hunt & Associates Inc., read its client feedback:

“We found ourselves in unfamiliar territory and need the services and advice from a private investigator. Thankfully, Haywood Hunt and Associates Inc. was my first and only call. My experience with Hayward Hunt and Associates was extremely positive. They were very helpful. They told me exactly what I needed to do. Their recommendations were excellent, they exemplified complete honesty, and they are very discrete. We highly recommend them to anyone looking for a professional and trustworthy private investigator.” – Billy Sandman

“Assisted my wife with information regarding a personal matter. Their service was amazing and they could not have been easier to deal with. Highly recommended.” – Dustin Boyd

6.   Norman Lalonde Investigations

Norman Lalonde Investigations' Homepage
SERVICESSurveillance, Background Investigations & Locates, Subrogation & Recovery, Workplace Insurance Fraud, Life and Health, Labour Disputes, Fire Scene Protection, Covert Camera Installation
ADDRESS100-134 St-Paul Street
Ottawa, ON
K1L 6A3
CONTACT NUMBER(613) 627-7728 | [email protected]
WEBSITEhttps://www.nlpi.ca
OPERATING HOURSContact company for more information

Norman Lalonde Investigations is a one-stop service provider for any client’s investigation needs. After serving the Greater Toronto, Kingston, Ottawa, and Quebec regions for many years, they’ve become known by many as a quality investigation company.

Their services cover surveillance, disputes, and everything in between. Besides providing excellent customer service, they also strive to keep their turnaround times to 30 days at most.

With a team that comprises expert investigators, licensed polygraph examiners, and qualified Statement Analysis experts, they’re well-equipped to handle any case their clients present them with. No case will be too difficult for them thanks to their extensive network around the country.

They have two locations available for visiting, one in Ottawa and the other in Quebec. Given their top-notch services and professional team, they’re a company that will be able to understand your issue and provide you with actual results.

Pros

  • Quality and discreet investigation services
  • Wide range of services
  • Many years of experience
  • Experienced and trained surveillance investigators

Cons

  • No operating hours listed on website

FAQs About Private Investigator Services in Ottawa


After reading about the top private investigator firms in Ottawa, we hope you’ll get some peace of mind in knowing that your fears and doubts are just an investigation away.

Got more good private investigators in mind you think we missed? Send us a message so we can review them.

And just in case the findings confirm what you’ve suspected all along in your union, we have handy resources on it, too. Read about the best divorce lawyers in Ottawa who can help you handle the dissolution of your marriage professionally.