I think they have the same issue as with Ingress, playing outside of a densely populated area is disproportionately difficult. However, unlike ingress that is based on population control, it seems odd that Pokemon are so rare in parks.
Yeah, its a pretty dumb system at the moment.
From what we saw during the beta it appears that pokemon "habitats" concentrate around high traffic areas, as designated by Google location data that records where high phone use areas are - exactly the same system Ingress has for deciding XM placement. (During the beta habitats looked like puddles on the ground and were easier to see the exact locations; now theyre the animations of floating leaves).
Which means big wildlife areas have hardly any pokemon while dense city areas have heaps.
I don't think I have time for this, despite my daughter being totes in love with the series. Also, not yet in Canada, eh?
You can sideload the APK to get the app working, but may not have pokemon available until it is released in your area.