On the same day, hundreds of people from the Chinese communities of the San Francisco Bay Area gathered at the Chinese consulate in San Francisco to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the return of Hong Kong to the motherland.
The mainland's continuous and rapid development over the years provides an invaluable opportunity and an inexhaustible source of strengths and broad space for Hong Kong's development, Xi said.
Thousands of Hong Kong Chinese settled in Vancouver in the late 1980s and early 90s because of uncertainty about what would happen when the United Kingdom handed the governance of Hong Kong over to the People's Republic of China on July 1, 1997.
At the same time, Xi did pledge Beijing's support for the "one country, two systems" blueprint, under which Hong Kong enjoys a great degree of autonomy and retains civil liberties, including free speech.
Some residents uneasy about the changes that have taken place since the July 1, 1997, handover worry about further changes to come during the formal transition period lasting until 2047.
Lam took her oath of office under China's national flag at the city's harbourfront convention centre, before shaking hands with Xi.
Lam has been in Hong Kong since ducking bail previous year and revealing how he had been seized, blindfolded and detained for eight months without a lawyer.
Xi, dressed in a dark suit and striped red tie, in the morning addressed a packed hall of mostly pro-Beijing establishment figures, after swearing in Hong Kong's first female leader, Carrie Lam, who was strongly backed by China.
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has the highest population of worldwide students among local universities.
"On the part of the central government, we are ready to talk to anyone who loves the country, loves Hong Kong and genuinely supports the principle of "one country, two systems" and the Basic Law of the HKSAR, no matter what political views or position he or she may hold".
Hong Kong has been racked by demands for full democracy and, more recently, by calls by some pockets of protesters for independence, a subject that is anathema to Beijing.
While the Hong Kong Chinese also helped transform food culture in Vancouver, Yu said their arrival also bred resentment from others, including Chinese immigrants who preceded them.
Ms Chan was at a candlelight vigil on Wednesday night for Chinese pro-democracy lawyer and Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo. "Democracy Now! Now!" they shouted on being released, including young Occupy protest leader Joshua Wong.
"They want to dilute us and make Hong Kong a city similar to Shanghai or Shenzhen", he says, an argument repeated by many others.
Many Hong Kongers sympathise with his plight and fear the same fate - of having their freedom of speech curtailed - if they do not push back against what they see as Beijing's tightening grip on the city.
Mrs. Lam has said the government will enforce the law against calls for independence, but has not explained how such acts would be illegal in Hong Kong, which has strong protections for speech.
The CBC's Elaine Chau came to Canada from Hong Kong with her family in 1992.
Weiqi Zhu, an equity derivatives trader in Hong Kong, is one of an increasing number of financial sector employees from mainland China who are dominating the city's banking sector.
The plan was voted down by pro-democracy lawmakers and the reform process has since stalled, with Lam making no commitment to revisit it anytime soon.