Would you be happier if the open grass space in the middle was shrunken in order to fit more of the features you noted (i.e. bigger playground, bigger hill, area for a rink, etc.) within the park boundaries?
I think a rink was not considered as there are both the ICE District Plaza and City Hall rinks within walking distance, but maybe there was another reason.
I think so, I think when you go and stand in those lots and imagine what an (approximately) 30-50,000 square foot green space feels like, then see the smaller and limited amenities around it, you get a sense for how out of proportion everything is. To give some context, you could fit a landmark aquarium almost 2/3's the size of the Vancouver aquarium (building itself) in that space and not make any alterations to any of the surrounding amenities. THAT is how big this space is. Monopolizing a significant portion of the park to ""sitting and reflecting" will only serve to make more important elements more crowded, limited in scope, and undesirable - especially in the winter time.
As per the second part, I think I'm in the minority of opinion when it comes to rink space, I think there's not enough rinks in the downtown area simply for the fact that people are typically unwilling to walk more than a block or two with skates to get to an ice surface. Driving more than a few blocks is also impractical. Ice surfaces are the one go-to and staple outdoor amenity across the entire province that essentially guarantee year round usage. No matter how many places to skate we have have, there will always be people nearby ready to walk the short distance and use them - especially when thousands of residents move into the area.
I'm still holding hope that the green space, if implemented as is, will be better activated than I am imagining. I'm beating a dead-horse here, but it's probably the only space in the entire downtown capable of supporting something like an ice skating track
such as the one seen below. I could see LED lights lighting up below the ice track, natural gas fire pits lighting the area, warm 4700K park-lighting, Christmas music playing, and a small bistro with an indoor sitting area to go get hot chocolate from and warm up in. This
will attract the residents on cold dark bitter nights from the surrounding towers; and this
will be the type of view that makes more luxurious developments surrounding the area more economically viable through the ability to demand higher $ per sq. footage.