To many, paddling a kayak around Vancouver’s Stanley Park is an ideal way to enjoy some breathtaking views of the city. But, under new rules proposed by the Vancouver Port Authority, such trips could soon be illegal.

The Vancouver Port Authority wants to expand areas near the city’s First and Second Narrows where recreational vessels like kayaks, canoes, sailboats and jet-skis are currently banned, essentially making much of the Vancouver Harbour off-limits to recreational boaters.

“This is extremely dangerous waters,” Vancouver resident Peter Armstrong told CTV Vancouver from the city’s seawall. He believes keeping such vessels out of Vancouver’s major shipping lanes is important for public safety.

“This is the main entrance way into one of the world’s biggest harbours,” he said.

Critics, however, argue that kayakers and paddle boarders hugging Stanley Park’s shore aren’t actually in the way of the massive commercial ships. Moreover, such activities, they say, are part of what defines the city -- something that was even advertised during Vancouver’s bid to host the 2010 Winter Olympics.

The Vancouver Port Authority, meanwhile, says that these types of vessels are already banned in much of these waters, though current rules are rarely enforced. If the proposed changes go through, enforcement would be tightened in addition to expanding areas where recreational vessels are currently banned, the Port Authority says. If the rules are passed, they add, would also open up other areas for paddlers, such as Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver and Maplewood Flats in North Vancouver.

With a report from CTV Vancouver’s St. John Alexander