The Saint-Joseph Academy of Hearst [Académie SaintJoseph de Hearst] greeted its first students in September 1956. At the request of Bishop Louis Levesque, the Sisters of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin [Sœurs de l’Assomption de la Sainte Vierge], a religious community established in Hearst since 1941, opened this French private secondary boarding school for young women. Initially, courses were offered on the premises of the Maison Sainte-Thérèse, also known as "LaGrange" and at the Saint-Joseph Convent. In March 1962, the Academy moved into a new building adjacent to the Saint-Joseph Convent (North side).
Like many private French secondary schools in the province, the Saint-Joseph Academy closed its doors following the creation, in 1968, of a French public secondary school system, in Ontario. In 1972, the Conseil des écoles séparées de Hearst purchased the building and incorporated it to SaintJacques elementary school. The following year, the Saint-Joseph Convent, built in 1921, was demolished. Known since 1986 as le Pavillon Notre-Dame, this school is now led by the Conseil scolaire catholique de district des Grandes Rivières.
In 1992, a plaque was inaugurated on the site formerly occupied by the Saint-Joseph Convent.