Don Berns Dead

Don Berns He was the longtime Toronto radio personality best known for his seven years at CFNY from 1985 to 1992 and his many years as Dr. Trance, Godfather of the Toronto rave scene.

I was hoping to have Don Berns on my podcast, and when he came in, I was going to play him this vintage CFNY clip.

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Ryan G /

Sad news indeed. Don Berns had an incredibly magnetic on air presence and truly embodied what the spirit of radio was all about. He was one of major reasons I developed an interest in alternative music, dj'ng and getting into media as a profession.

Don, whether you knew it or not, you influenced many mightily.

March 2, 2015 @ 9:06 AM


I didn't follow Don Berns after he left CFNY. He did bounce around a bit, mostly amongst stations that I wasn't interested in listening to. He had a great voice and his personality came through more than the radio. I can only imagine how difficult it was for the person who had to call Marsden early today: "Happy Birthday, Dave. Oh, Don Berns passed away."

March 2, 2015 @ 9:11 AM


This saddens me. He was such a nice man, always quick with a joke and laugh and that voice... what a voice!!
Sad day in Toronto radio and there will be a lot of people paying their respects to Dr. Trance.


March 2, 2015 @ 1:47 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Even if you don't know Don Berns from his years on 102.1 or as Dr. Trance you've heard the man's voice. He did loads of voice imaging and was the voice of TSN for many years.

March 2, 2015 @ 1:56 PM


Very sad news.

March 2, 2015 @ 2:25 PM


Sad news.. RIP Don Berns

I was not a close friend but he was always nice to me & a fun guy to joke around with on Facebook the past few years… where we would exchange witty banter on stupid pics & postings trying to make everyone smile & laugh at our silly sayings.

He took a moment & left me a nice birthday message & song on my birthday this past Nov & I am glad I took a moment to respond personally to his (& everyones) post from that day.

His voice & on air personality was one that was a daily part of my world in the 80's & I am lucky to have had that special "CFNY The Spirit Of Radio" experience during that decade.

I have a memorable pic of him & Martin Streak at a roadshow around 1988. They put on a great show & it was a really fun night.

It was always neat to "clue in" that it was him when wondering who that familiar voice was from a commercial or TV program.

I have been catching up on many of your awesome CFNY alumni podcasts & was wondering when you where going to get to him… I was just thinking about that last week actually. It would have been a great show to add to the library.

Perhaps you could have Dave Marston (not Marsden but aka James Scott) on your podcast at some point as I believe he & Don where really close.

Don will be missed...

March 2, 2015 @ 2:41 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I've had Scot Turner, Maie Pauts, Alan Cross, Fred Patterson and David Marsden, and I definitely had my sights set on Don Berns. In fact, I've got some vintage CFNY news I was going to share this week, and Don Berns figured prominently.

I hear he was energetic and active up until this fatal heart attack.

March 2, 2015 @ 2:46 PM

Drunk Johnny Fever

Boy am I old..Usta listen to "Donnie" weeknights 7-11 from WKBW Buffalo 1520.

March 2, 2015 @ 5:54 PM

Mike from Lowville

Don was a great guy.......and a towering giant. Remember one time at the (UKNOW) CASBYS awards he burnt me with his smoke on my cheek. Maybe that was a sign to quit. Guess he didn't.

March 2, 2015 @ 6:45 PM

Ken R from Buffalo

Listened to Don on WKBW when I was a kid and when I was older and had found CFNY and they brought him in I said why are they bringing in an AM guy to do FM ? Was I ever surprised . I came to respect and enjoy his musical knowledge and tastes and looked forward to listen to him every day . R I P .

March 2, 2015 @ 9:21 PM

Joe O'Neill

CFNY used to run a bumper for one of Berns' nightclub gigs that went, "Other DJ's cook, but Don Berns". Nice.

What a voice!

March 5, 2015 @ 4:05 PM

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