Canada has often been a United States president's first foreign stop, but the COVID-19 pandemic turned the sit-down between the two leaders and some of their top deputies into a virtual affair.
US presidents traditionally invite the Canadian prime minister for their first meeting with a world leader.
President Joe Biden says the United States will work together with Canada to secure the release of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig from China.
The two countries are in a shared standoff with China after Canada's detention of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of China's Huawei Technologies on a US arrest warrant.
The coronavirus pandemic is forcing President Joe Biden to alter another first for his administration: the typically formal White House meeting with a foreign counterpart.
Tomorrow's meeting will be a far cry from the pomp and circumstance Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US Vice-President Joe Biden shared on December 9, 2016.
"Thank you again for stepping up in such a big way on tackling climate change - USA leadership has been sorely missed over the past years", he said.
The leaders were joined during their virtual bilateral meeting today by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Marc Garneau, as well as Vice President Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Maryscott Greenwood, the chief executive officer of the Canadian American Business Council, said the Prime Minister's Office would do well to imagine Donald Trump is still in the White House.
"They will discuss issues of mutual interest, from COVID-19 to climate change and the economic ties that bind our countries, as well as the deep people-to-people bonds we share". Trump responded by calling Trudeau "two-faced". Biden was seated at one end of the table, with Vice President Kamala Harris to the right of him.
The list is long of US presidents who made it a point to make Canada the destination of their first official foreign visit.
Last week, Trudeau said in a statement that he is looking forward to Tuesday's meeting. The official told reporters that Biden was hoping for a "road map to reinvigorate U.S".
Trudeau expressed "disappointment" with the decision, the prime minister's office said after Biden's announcement.
Job 1 for the president is getting the vaccine to every American who wants it as soon as possible, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said earlier Tuesday.
Last Tuesday, Canadian members of Parliament overwhelmingly voted in favour of creating a special committee to focus on the economic relationship between Canada and the U.S. The long-disputed project was supported by Trudeau and projected to carry some 800,000 barrels of oil a day from the tar sands of Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast, passing through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma.
Trudeau, the leader of Canada's center-left Liberal Party, had a close relationship with the former Obama administration.
"I think one of the things that that has changed significantly since January 20 is the White House is not going to be meddling in in Justice Department matters", the official said.
Biden's election hasn't meant an immediate return to stable relations.