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Don Berns aka Dr Trance Rest in Peace


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I am absolutely heartbroken. Don was a very good friend and I miss him very much.

He touched so many lives and had such an enormous impact on so many communities. He was a founder and Godfather of Toronto's Rave Scene. He was a huge radio personality. Actor. Improv. 1groove.com. CFNY. Effective. Host of the biggest Pride events. One of the greatest voices of all time. a.k.a. Dr. Trance. a.k.a. Foonman. He rocked more dance floors than anyone I know.

He emceed my wedding. He was the best host I could imagine. My wife fell in love with him instantly, as did we all.

I am happy that he met my daughter, which was the last time I saw him, at Katrina & Jelo's baby shower last month.

The last time I spoke with him was just last week. He was about to enter a new retail lease for one of his business ventures. He was excited and, as always, full of life and energy. We ended the call strategizing about how to ensure we would get midnight sneak preview tickets to 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' - i.e. how early would we have to start checking cineplex.com every day so that we could buy our block of tickets before others, to get the best seats in the house at the first showing at Scotiabank IMAX.

He, along with Jelo and Timmy, were the only ones I knew that got as excited about stuff like that as I did. I loved talking comic books and superhero movies with him. He was living proof that one need not grow up as one grew older, and I loved that about him.

We will miss his pond parties. We will miss his wonderful sense of humour. We will miss his companionship, his emails and his hugs.

Deepest condolences to his family and best friends.

We love you, Don.
sweet post, I didn't know him personally at all...but always admired him. Thanks for sharing this, it shed some light on what kind of person he was. I am sorry for you loss.


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RIP Dr Trance! Helped fuel my addiction to trance and was always a friendly person in the crowd.


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RIP Don Berns/Dr Trance :(

A friend posted this CBC article on the history of the Toronto Rave scene and it goes into how instrumental Don was into the scene we had here.

CBC Music

He was behind the decks at most parties I went to through the 90's and early 2000's and I was fortunate enough to have gotten to know him a little bit through those years. Always a gentleman and a terrific guy anytime I was fortunate enough to be able to chat with him.
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Rest in Peace, Dr Trance!

I remember listening to him on the radio in the 90s and hearing crazy acid techno, trance, and even hardcore gabber from him and his guests.

My very first "trance/techno" party was Dr Trance & DJ SOS in 1996 at the Opera House. My brother drove us from Brampton and we checked it out. It wasn't even that busy, but it left an impression on me... I even remember one of the songs that SOS played, it was a "cold as ice" hardcore remix and I thought it was the dopest shit ever at the time.

RIP to a legend...


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His radio show was essential listening for me back in the mid-90s.

He gave a platform to many local DJs and had interesting guests on.
He always seemed like a larger than life character. Big radio voice.

He'll be missed.

EDIT: I have fond memories of him playing moments from Underworld's "2nd Toughest" right as it came out. At a time when it was hard to find this type of outlet to hear new music, it was much appreciated.
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ugh, i gotta knot in my stomach

he was a pillar and hero of the scene.

there should be a Toronto Electronic Music Walk of Fame and he should have a star on it.


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i remember first listening to his 'spirit of music' radio show in the mid 80s, pre his electronic days. i wasn't a huge fan of his sound in the 90s (personal tastes and i was more into the nyc / chicago / detroit sound) but have much respect for what he accomplished as a dj and promoter. he was a cornerstone for the rave scene in toronto for sure.

he had one hell of a career in radio / music. only met him a few times but remember him as always being a happy, friendly guy.
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FB X-post: Pre-music sharing on the internet, Dr. Trance's radio show in the 90s was one of the early mainlines I had into electronic music and the scene that was and continues to be a significant part of me / my life / people I met and have as friends. Thank you and rest in peace.
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RIP to a legendary man who was instrumental in shaping the party scene we all loved so much, not to mention his various other ventures.
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Sad news indeed for the Toronto scene. An innovator, enabler and tremendously talented dj. His Saturday shows on 108 set us up for the weekend. You helped Toronto establish it's music identity and provided so many memories. Thank you and may your spirit live on in the generations you influenced. RIP Don.

Musical Rush

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RIP Don,, thank you for bringing in something new to the city, I was so fed up with the lame, top 40, full of drunken idiots, club scene. Trance/Raves was just what the Dr ordered. technics1200

the wiz

TRIBE Member
"See me, hear me, feel me, love me, touch me"

(a track like that was on his Dance into the Light mix CD)

RIP Dr. Trance :(
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