1

What should I use the former and when should I use the latter? For example:

Sylvia and I grabbed our luggage and headed to the entrance.

As we headed toward the center, I spotted a L-shaped bar on the right corner.

2

There are many instances when you could use either and have the sentences be clear and nearly identical in meaning. Use "to" when the action is going to a specific place. Use "toward" when the action is going in that general direction. In your first sentence, the reader understands that Sylvia and her companion are heading specifically and directly for the entrance. In the second, the reader understands that the party is moving in the general direction of the center of the area. If you substituted "to" for "toward" the sentences would be very similar unless additional context was provided. For example,

"We agreed to meet near the piano that was near the center of the ballroom. As we headed toward the center, I spotted an L-shaped bar on the right corner."

In this example, the reader understands that the piano is actually the goal. The party is going to the piano which is toward the center.

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