“The Plague” (La Peste) is a fictional work dealing with a plague in Oran, Algeria. It was first published by Camus (1913-1960) in 1947. In the following passage before the plague hits he described the nature of Oran which might very well be Toronto or New York.
“Perhaps the easiest way of making a town’s acquaintance is to ascertain how the people in it work, how they love, and how they die. In our little town (is this, one wonders an effect of the climate?) all three are much done on much the same lines, with same feverish yet casual air. The truth is that everyone is bored, and devotes himself to cultivating habits. Our citizens work hard, but solely with the object of getting rich, Their chief interest is in commerce and their chief aim in life is , as they call it, ‘doing business”. Naturally they don’t eschew such simpler pleasures as love-making, sea-bathing, going to the pictures. But, very sensibly, they reserve these pastimes for Saturday afternoons and Sundays, and employ the rest of the week in making money, as much as possible”