Prosecutors at the British Columbia Supreme Court said 36-year-old Zhongming Mou admitted to strangling his wife in a custody dispute over their two children.
He said he drove the children around to church and tourist destinations in July 2011 with the woman's body in the suitcase in the car, The (Vancouver) Province reported.
Mou was originally charged with first-degree murder, but in exchange for his confession, the charges were reduced to second-degree, which allows for an earlier bid for parole.
The two sons are now 4 and 3 years old.
When Mou is sentenced Friday, prosecutors said they will ask for a sentence of 15-20 years, the newspaper said.
Mou said after two days, he weighted the suitcase with rocks and put it in the Fraser River. It was later found by fishermen.
Personal effects of his wife, Yating Hu, were found buried in the backyard of his parents' home, the court heard.