You need to appear in person in court on the day of the trial. The only exception is if a judge has decided to make a decision based on written material only. Both parties must consent to the case being decided on written material only.
A case cannot be adjourned, even if the parties agree, without the permission of the court. In some circumstances the party that causes or seeks an adjournment can be required to pay the costs incurred because of the delay.
If the party making the claim does not appear the case will be dismissed. If the party defending the case does not appear the other party can make their case to the judge. The judge can decide if they have proved their case without hearing from the defendant.
Court hearings are open to the public. It is a principle of the Canadian justice system that people can see and hear what happens in court. Although people can be in the courtroom, no one in the courtroom is allowed to record anything or use phones or computers to send text messages or tweets to people outside the court while court is going on. The only exception to this is for members of the media, who are allowed to for the purposes of informing their readers or viewers.